When we lose a loved one, the loss we feel cannot be explained in words. We have a broken heart. We carry a weight of grief that we feel, but cannot see or touch.
As I have walked through the stages of grief, I find that grief is a strange and difficult emotion to understand. It can cause us overwhelming sadness when we miss our loved ones, and it can also cause anger when we question why we have been left alone. Finally, grief can leave you with many emotions all at once – sadness, regret, anger, and confusion to mention a few.
Most of the time, I describe grief like a wave. It can sometimes feel like a small ripple; you stop and maybe cry for a few minutes, but you are not overwhelmed. Other times, grief is an overwhelming wave that knocks you down. The intensity of grief can be strong months and even years after your loss. In the early days of grief, the waves are fast and happen frequently. As time passes, the time between the waves gets longer.
Thankfully, God has not left us hopeless. God’s love and presence are close when we grieve. This post will share comforting Bible verses on grief and my reflections on how God works in us through our grief.
It was a Friday, May 21, 2021. It started like most days. I was up early writing the verse of the day and then getting my daughter to school, and my other two kids started on schoolwork at home.
My husband, Greg, had been feeling sick most of the week. I would take him to the doctor about mid-day. Over the next few hours, I would learn he was in end-stage heart failure. It was too late to do anything.
Even now, when I think back to the last 48 hours with him, it seems surreal. Did it really happen? It all happened so fast. Since this was happening in the middle of COVID-19, some visitation at the hospital was restricted, but I’m thankful I was able to stay with him most of the time.
After two days in the hospital, on Sunday, May 23, 2021, we were planning to go home. We didn’t know how long he would have; we didn’t even speak about it. The doctors told me he might have days or even months. I was planning to enjoy the time we would have. We would watch some of his favorite movies and just spend time together. But, around 12:45 p.m., Greg had a heart attack and he was gone.
As I look back, May 23, 2021 seems like forever ago, and it seems like yesterday. The grieving process you experience when you lose someone so close to you is hard and difficult to explain.
Grief is a journey. In the 2 1/2 years since Greg died, I’ve learned to trust God in ways I never did before. For about 18 months, I struggled to move forward, but I eventually did. I found Jesus did restore my joy again. I’ve learned I will not be sad, and I could be happy again.
If you are grieving today, the verses below are for you. I hope these Bible verses on grief and hope are encouraging to you.
22 Bible Verses to Comfort the Grieving
Jesus wept.John 11:35
Jesus was fully God and fully man. When his friend Lazarus died, the grief Jesus felt was so overwhelming he wept.
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by my own grief, I go to this verse. Jesus is fully God. He knew that he would raise Lazarus from the dead. But he was still overwhelmed with grief. Jesus understands my pain, and he is close.
When you feel no one understands your loss, Jesus does. He is with you.
God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. There was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.
When God finished creation, he declared all that he had made was very good. Then, sin separated us from God and brought death. But God didn’t leave us without hope. We have Jesus. We know that one day, God will restore all creation, and it will be made very good once more.
I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people; and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain any more. The first things have passed away.”
He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.” Revelation 21:3-5
As creation was in the beginning, it will be perfect once more. God will dwell with his people. He will wipe away all our tears. Death will finally be defeated. Our mourning and grief will end. No more crying, pain, or hurt because God will make everything new.
What a promise! God is making all things new.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.
The peace of God cannot be explained. It’s a quiet peace we feel deeply. The peace of God will stay with us and keep our hearts close to God.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
The death of a loved one can be hard to understand. We wonder why God would take them from us. Rather than question God, lean into the work the Lord is doing in you and through you. Our understanding will always be limited compared with God’s eternal view.
The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves those who have a crushed spirit.
In times of grief and when our hearts are broken, God is the closest.
In the first few weeks and months after my husband died, I remember nights when I felt God so close. I couldn’t see God. I couldn’t hear God. But I could feel his presence, and I knew that he was close.
He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.
Not only is God close in our times of grief, but he also heals our broken hearts. You may think that joy and happiness are lost forever, but with God, you will heal, and hope can be restored.
You have turned my mourning into dancing for me. You have removed my sackcloth, and clothed me with gladness.
Not only will God heal your hurt and broken heart, but he will also turn your mourning into dancing. He will bring joy and happiness back to your heart.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, I give to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.
Jesus has promised us a peace that only he can give. In your grief, lean on Jesus. Lean into this promise and claim the peace only Jesus gives.
With time, God will work in your heart, and you will feel joy again,
To provide for those who mourn in Zion, to give to them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness,that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that he may be glorified.
What a beautiful promise that God will work in your heart so that you feel joy again. You will given beauty for the ashes, and you will receive joy to replace your mourning.
But now the LORD who created you, Jacob, and he who formed you, Israel, says: “Don’t be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name.
You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you,
and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned, and flame will not scorch you.”
You are not alone when you walk through your grief and loneliness. You should not fear; God has redeemed you, and he knows you by name. He is with you each step.
He has swallowed up death forever! The Lord will wipe away tears from off all faces. He will take the reproach of his people away from off all the earth, for Yahweh has spoken it.
Although death brings an end to our earthly journey, we rejoice that death has been defeated forever in Jesus. We are promised to see our loved ones again, and God will wipe away our tears.
Therefore you now have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you.
Sorrow and grief are temporary. There is coming a day when Jesus returns that we will see him again, and our joy will be fully restored forever.
“Don’t let your heart be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. You know where I go, and you know the way.”
Jesus promises us a future and a hope. He is preparing a mansion and place for us in heaven. What he is preparing will be better than anything we could imagine. He will come again, and he will be with him for eternity.
But we don’t want you to be ignorant, brothers, concerning those who have fallen asleep, so that you don’t grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we tell you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first, then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
I Thessalonians 4:13-18
The Apostle Paul gives a wonderful description of the future resurrection and our hope. We know that for those in Christ, death is not a permanent separation. We look forward to the day when Jesus returns, and we will be reunited with our loved ones and friends.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
II Corinthians 1:3-4
In our grief, it’s hard to understand that our pain is not wasted and God has a purpose. When we accept the comfort God gives us, we can comfort others in their pain and loss. It can be difficult, and we don’t always have the right words. But for others to know that you have walked the path they are experiencing gives them comfort.
Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to him for whom nothing is prepared, for today is holy to our Lord. Don’t be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Grief lasts for a season. But the joy of the LORD endures and will be your strength.
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
The death and resurrection of Jesus complete the final payment for sin and give us eternal life through him. Jesus declared, “It is finished.” The debt of our sin was paid in full, and our future in heaven was secured.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will still live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he proclaims that he is the resurrection and the life. If we believe in him, we will never die. The life we live now is brief. We have the promise of eternity with Jesus.
“Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 15:55-57
Because Jesus lives, the sting of death is gone. We have nothing to fear; we only rejoice in the victory of salvation provided by Jesus.
I thank my God whenever I remember you.
Our loved ones and friends may no longer be with us, but we can thank God when we remember them for making them a part of our lives. We can cherish the memories we have with them.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope in the power of the Holy Spirit.
My prayer for you is that God will give you peace in your grief. I pray you will find a joy and hope that you never experienced. May Jesus be closer to you in these days than ever before.
I hope these Bible verses on grief comfort you and add peace to your days as they have done for me. May the joy of God fill your heart with hope once more. Out of the ashes may you find beauty and renewal in Him.