Grief and loss have, for many years, been categorized into a number of stages. This can help you understand what you may be experiencing — but the reality is that most people don’t progress through the stages of grief in a linear fashion. Ultimately, however, all five stages of grief have to be worked through.
The five stages of grief are:
- Denial – The denial stage involves feeling that “this isn’t happening” or “this can’t be happening.”
- Anger – Whether directed at yourself, other people (such as someone you hold responsible for your loss) or at the loved one who you’ve lost, anger is a normal part of the grieving process.
- Bargaining – In this stage, you may find yourself trying to do a deal with God – e.g. “I’ll do anything you want if you’ll bring my daughter back.”
- Depression – The depression stage can be prolonged and it may feel like you’re never going to get out of it. Sadness is overwhelming and it can be difficult to participate in everyday life.
- Acceptance – The final stage of grief is the point when you are able to accept the loss that you’ve experienced and know that you’re going to be “okay.”
Coping with loss can seem impossible when you’re drowning in feelings of fear, sadness, and hopelessness, but when you turn to the wisdom of Scripture for the loss of a loved one, it is possible to find both comfort and hope.
6 Bible Verses about Loss
In this article, we’re going to be looking at six Bible verses about loss that can help you to find some hope to cling to.
God is Close When You’re Brokenhearted
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. – Psalm 34:18
He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. – Psalm 147:3
These two Bible verses about loss serve as a reminder of God’s character and His love for His children. He is close to us when we are feeling broken by our loss and our spirits are crushed by grief. It can be really comforting to meditate on the imagery in Psalm 147:3.
Imagine what it would look and feel like to have God bandaging your wounds and healing your broken heart. God’s comfort may not bring back the loved ones we are mourning the loss of, but He can offer us a place to rest when we are feeling alone and spent.
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life
Of all the Bible verses for mourning, this passage is one of the most impactful. Here, we’re in the midst of the story of Lazarus, Jesus’ close friend and the brother of Mary and Martha. John 11 contains the shortest verse in the Bible (‘Jesus wept’) and reminds us that Jesus, too, experiences feelings of grief and loss.
Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?” – John 11:25-26
Like Martha, when we’re mourning the loss of a loved one, it can be really difficult to find hope, but Jesus understands this. He reminds Martha, and us, that death is only a temporary thing. As the resurrection and the life, Jesus is our pathway to eternal life. We can rest in the comfort that our loved ones may have departed from this earth, but we will see them again in eternity.
O Death, Where is Your Sting?
But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:51-57
“O Death where is your sting?” is a verse that can be found in several popular worship songs – and for good reason. This short phrase is another reminder that death is not final and Jesus has the victory. In this passage, Paul is exhorting us to hold onto the “wonderful secret” that “we will not all die, but we will all be transformed”!
This is a whole new perspective on death, and it can be a huge source of comfort. When you start to think of your loved one’s death as part of their transformation, death seems much less final.
When You Walk Through the Valley, God Is With You
Many funerals feature the 23rd Psalm, particularly verse 4. When we lose a loved one, it can certainly feel like we are walking through the shadow of death (as other translations of the verse phrase it). Knowing that God is close by us no matter how dark and difficult the going gets and that He is there to comfort and protect us can help to ease feelings of abandonment during the depression stage of grief.
Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
Losing a loved one can cause feelings of fear, and these are particularly difficult to deal with in the immediate aftermath of a death. We may be reminded of our own mortality or fear for other family members. When God is walking beside you on your journey through grief, you do not need to be afraid, however.
There Will Be No More Death
He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever. – Revelation 21:4
Of all the Bible verses about loss and Bible verses that comfort you in times of loss, Revelation 21:4 has to be one of the most powerful. Imagine for a moment what it will be like when we are spending eternity with God, when pain and tears are no more, and when death and sorrow simply do not exist.
Not only does this verse offer a tremendous amount of hope for our eternity in heaven, but it offers a very tender picture of God’s love for us. The act of wiping every tear from our eyes is a demonstration of love and care, showing us that God understands our grief and sorrow but promises us that in eternity we will have no reason to be sorrowful. We will be reunited with our loved ones forever.
Bible Verses for Comfort in Times of LossThere is no easy way to go through grief and loss. The fact that there are so many Bible verses about loss and Bible verses for mourning and Scripture for loss of a loved one highlights the fallenness of the world we live in.
If you are struggling with grief and feel like you’re trapped in an endless cycle of grief, then you could benefit from meeting with a Christian counselor. Christian grief counseling is a good way to explore your feelings with a trained and experienced Christian who can offer biblical insights into your feelings.
With the help of a Christian counselor, you can explore more Bible verses about loss and Bible verses that can bring you comfort in your time of loss. Christian counseling is a safe space where you can begin to move towards the final stage of grief: acceptance.
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