Friday, September 24, 2010

Biblical Insights For Understanding Grief

(From a presentation at a Creditials Retreat for those seeking ordination)

The Bible dignifies grief by presenting it as a God-given, theraputic response to loss.

God grieves

The Father grieves over evil in Noah's day (Gen. 6:6)
The Son grieves over the death of Lazarus (Jn. 11: 35-36) as well as over Jerusalem.  See also Is. 53.
The Spirit grieves over believers sin (Eph. 4:30)

God responds to our grief

Recording our tears (Ps. 56:8)
Symapthizing with our weaknesses (Heb. 4: 15-16)
Eventually ending our griefs (Is. 65:19, Rev. 21:4)

Grief measures the meaning of our attactments

Our attatchment to friends (Jn. 11:36)
Our attachment to family (Gen. 50:1)

Grief potentially interupts life's routines

Leaving mourners with little appetite (2Sam. 12:17)
Causing mourners to wish for death (2Sam. 18:33)
Multiplying mourner's illness and death (1Sam. 4: 18-22)

Grief potentially persists over an extended period of time

7 days (Gen. 50:10)
30 days (Num. 20:29)
70 days (Gen. 50:3)
Time does not heal, it's what you do with that time.

Grief is potentially expressed in a variety of ways

Before a loss (Mt. 26: 37-38)
By shock, numbness or denial (Mk. 8:31-32)
In anger (Job 10:9)
Through bargaining (Is. 38: 1-22)
With depression (2Sam. 12: 16-18)
With acceptance (Phil. 1:12, 21-24, 4:11-13)

Grief is potentially facilitated by various expressions

Through songs (2Sam. 1: 17-27)
Through poetry (Lam. 1-5)

Other Scriptures

Is. 43:2-3, Ps. 23:4, 46:1, 147:3, Jn. 14:1, Is. 41:10, Prov. 3: 5-6, Dt. 31: 5-6.


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