Grief is one of the hardest things to deal with in this life. I would like to teach you how to deal with grief. Not all grief we encounter results in death, though most of it does. I’m going to give you some practical advice on how you & I can be the church and minister to our community as well. I encourage you to get a pen and notebook out.
Death is a natural part of life.
Hebrews 9:27-28 (MSG):
Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation.
Let’s begin our studies by looking at an Old Testament example of death and how it was dealt with:
Prior to reading this passage, it imperative that we understand what is going on:
God told Elijah that for the next few years, there would be no rain or dew – basically a famine. Ravens fed Elijah and He drank water from a brook. After some time, the brook dried up. God directed Elijah to go to a village named Zarephath and there He will find a Widow that has been instructed to feed Him. Though the Widow had only 1 meal left for her & her son, she elected to do what God told her to do – which was feed Elijah. From that moment on – she never ran out of food.
1 Kings 17:15-16 (MSG):
And she went right off and did it, did just as Elijah asked. And it turned out as he said—daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn’t run out and the bottle of oil didn’t become empty: God’s promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!
1 Kings 17:17-24 (MSG):
Later on the woman’s son became sick. The sickness took a turn for the worse—and then he stopped breathing. The woman said to Elijah, “Why did you ever show up here in the first place—a holy man barging in, exposing my sins, and killing my son?” Elijah said, “Hand me your son.” He then took him from her bosom, carried him up to the loft where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. Then he prayed, “O God, my God, why have you brought this terrible thing on this widow who has opened her home to me? Why have you killed her son?” Three times he stretched himself out full-length on the boy, praying with all his might, “God, my God, put breath back into this boy’s body!” God listened to Elijah’s prayer and put breath back into his body—he was alive! Elijah picked the boy up, carried him downstairs from the loft, and gave him to his mother. “Here’s your son,” said Elijah, “alive!” The woman said to Elijah, “I see it all now—you are a holy man. When you speak, God speaks—a true word!”
Let’s talk about this a moment, God already did a miracle for this lady. She lost all hope, though a few verses prior God did an awesome miracle and kept her family alive.
1 Kings 17:17-18 (AMP): It happened after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick; and his illness was so severe that there was no breath left in him. So she said to Elijah, “What [problem] is there between you and me, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to mind and to put my son to death?”
Don’t let fear get in the way. Elijah basically told her, “There is nothing too hard for God!” He prayed over the boy 3 times and BAM!
Now let’s look at a New Testament example – Jairus.
A ruler in the synagogue of Capernaum. So, he was a well-known religious leader. Jairus expressed faith in Jesus’ ability to heal his child, and Jesus began to follow him home. Grief often makes you desperate.
Mark 5:22-23 (NLT):
Then a leader of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, arrived. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet, pleading fervently with him. “My little daughter is dying,” he said. “Please come and lay your hands on her; heal her so she can live.”
The Bible also says in Luke 8:42 that the crowds were so big, He almost got crushed! On the way home we find the women with the issue of blood. I can imagine Jairus’ thoughts “Hurry up lady, my daughter is dying!” There was a delay, yet Jairus did not give up. God knew how desperate He was. Yet, Jesus said this in Mark 5:36 (MSG): Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”
Trust is the key!
Proverbs 3:5 (MSG): Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Of course, Jesus healed His daughter.
How did Jesus deal with grief?
When He was told about the death of John the Baptist, He wanted to be alone.
Mathew 14:13 (AMP):
When Jesus heard about John, He left there privately in a boat and went to a secluded place. But when the crowds heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
Let’s put ourselves in Jesus’ shoes one moment. He just lost His cousin. He is trying to process this lost because even though He is Jesus, He is still human. While still in mourning, the crowds still followed and needed Him. This next verse blows my mind.
Matthew 14:14 (AMP):
When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt [profound] compassion for them and healed their sick.
The next example we are going to discuss is when Lazarus died,
John 11:32-36 (AMP):
When Mary came [to the place] where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him [as a close friend]!”
I find verse 33 very interesting: When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled,
Why did Jesus cry? He felt sorrow, He saw everyone’s unbelief.
The word wept here is dakryō (pronounced: dä-krü’-ō) The Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines it as: “to shed tears” (dakruon, “a tear”), is used only of the Lord Jesus,
Yes, Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead a few verses later, however, it is important to realize that even Jesus mourned. When someone loses a loved one, they get desperate. People need answers. We serve a God who has all the answers! We are their “last option church,” if we need to be. Just love on them. As Christians, we do not need to fear death. Fear is from the devil. Paul says this about death:
Philippians 1:21 (AMP):
For to me, to live is Christ [He is my source of joy, my reason to live] and to die is gain [for I will be with Him in eternity].
1 Corinthians 15:55 (AMP):
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
We already won!
Hebrews 2:14 (AMP):
Therefore, since [these His] children share in flesh and blood [the physical nature of mankind], He Himself in a similar manner also shared in the same [physical nature, but without sin], so that through [experiencing] death He might make powerless (ineffective, impotent) him who had the power of death—that is, the devil—
I like what D. L. Moody said, “Death may be the King of terrors… but Jesus is the King of kings!”
How do I become a Christian?
Acts 4:12 (AMP):
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].”
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I pray that you come into my heart. Please forgive me of all my sins. Wash me and make me whole again. I believe you died and rose again on the third day and I will serve you from this day forward. I confess with my mouth that you are my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!