Comfort in Our Darkest Hour: Bible Verses for Mourning
Whether it comes suddenly, or whether we expect it after a long struggle, the loss of a loved one hurts. As commonplace as death may be, there is still something unnatural about death, and it feels right to talk about death as the Bible does, calling it an “enemy.” In this article, we’ll look at several Bible verses for mourning to comfort you in your time of loss.The death of a loved one robs us of opportunities to make new memories, or to foster reconciliation where there had been strained relationships. However, death can also come as welcome release for a loved one who has been struggling, however painful it may be to finally lose them.
Our culture often hedges us about so that we either don’t allow ourselves to feel our loss, or to move on quickly from our mourning. We need to mourn the loss of a loved one, to go through the emotions that come with it and begin adjusting to life without them.
Each of us will mourn in our own way, keeping in mind that not every way to mourn will help us to flourish. One way we can mourn is by remaining cognizant of what God says about death and what that means for our own lives by turning to the Scriptures to read helpful Bible verses about mourning.
Bible verses for mourning and grief.
These words, which are often prayers uttered during despair, can help us maintain perspective and keep hope alive when it seems fleeting. They can give voice to our own pain even while they draw us toward the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. – Psalm 34:18, NIV
When we have experienced loss, one word for that feeling is “brokenhearted.” In our relationships with our significant others, we invest ourselves, our thoughts, our emotions, our very selves. When we lose that person, it feels like we have lost a part of ourselves. Our spirits feel crushed, and the sadness we feel can become overwhelming.
Sometimes, such an experience can make us despair of God, or we can even begin to ask whether God cares about what we are going through. Does God see it? Where is He right now? The answer that this verse gives us is that God is close. Where we are, that is where God is.
God is with us in the brokenness, in the despair, amid our feeling like our spirits are crushed. We may not always know why we lose our loved ones, or what God is doing in our lives amid our hardships, but this verse from the Psalms reminds us that God is with us, close to us.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7, NIV
When we are mourning our loved one, it is natural for our minds to begin to wonder what life will be like without them. If they were the breadwinner, those thoughts can turn to anxiety, just as they could if the person was a confidant with whom you shared your deepest self.
Questions can start pouring in your mind – Who will provide for us? With whom will I be able to share my thoughts and fears? Will these feelings of emptiness and pain ever go away? It can all be unsettling, to say the least.
Part of mourning is coming to terms with the changes wrought in our lives by our loss, and these are questions with which many people struggle. In those moments of struggle, we can lose sight not only of the goodness of God, but also of the possibilities that are still open before us.
Many people go through the five stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance – though not necessarily in that order or in any consistent fashion, because grief is often a messy process. We don’t have to accept what has happened right away, nor do we know or understand what it may even look like to rebuild our lives from this point onward.
But when we put those thoughts before the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving, God can do an amazing work in us by granting us peace even amid the pain of searing loss.
That peace, we are told, “transcends all understanding” (Phil. 4:7) – after all, how can I be feeling peace in the midst of something that is so painful and that I can’t even begin to put into words? The peace that God gives us through Jesus will go beyond what we can comprehend, and it will work in us in ways that may baffle us. After all, Paul wrote these words while he was sitting in jail, uncertain of his own future.
God is the God of all comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-5), and he can comfort us in our grief in ways that no one else can because he knows the deep and secret places of our souls.
Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them.
They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:1-4, NIV
These Bible verses for mourning from the book of Revelation take us to an as yet unseen future. These words were written to a church that was undergoing unbelievable hardship through persecution and other hardships.
When we are going through a tough time, one of the ways we can weather the storm is to be assured that everything is going to be alright. When you’re walking in the darkness, a little glimmer of light can help you deal with your fears; the monster in the corner is just a pile of clothes, after all.
With the loss of a loved one, that is far more serious, our fears go deeper, and we don’t know if there is a good ending to the story, or if there could be a good ending to such a thing.
These Bible verses for mourning remind us not only that God sees every tear that we shed, but also that these things that mark our present life – death, mourning, crying, and pain – will no longer be a part of the universe and order of things. all of those things will themselves pass away in the new world that God is bringing about, this new heaven and new earth. Just as our current reality is very real, very tangible, so too this new world in which God will dwell with his people.
Only, that new thing that God is going to do will deal with the sorrows and the tears that have been shed here and now. It gives us hope, and it comforts us to know that God sees our sorrow and will set things right. What that new world will look like is something ‘no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has ever conceived,’ but God is faithful to his promises and will bring it about (1 Cor. 2:9).
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26, NIV
Jesus spoke these words to His friend Martha, whose brother Lazarus had died. He says them to reassure her that faith in Him is not in vain, even though her brother had died.
There is a saying that we should not forget in the darkness what we knew to be true in the light, and it is often the case that when going through the darkness of mourning we can forget the truth about who God is. If our loved one believed in Jesus, the hope of resurrection means that they will live even though they have died.
That means that in our mourning, we have the hope that we will see them again. They are not passing into oblivion, but they are going to be with Jesus and in his presence until he returns to usher in that new heavens and new earth that the book of Revelation talks about.
It is right and proper to miss our loved ones, to mourn their loss and the hole they leave in our lives. But that mourning is not without hope, because Jesus makes all the difference in the world. If you are mourning the loss of a loved one, here’s a prayer for you:
“Father in heaven, thank you for your love, and your care that goes beyond what I can even know or imagine. Thank you that you see my pain, that you are with me in this moment – walking with me, comforting me, and your Holy Spirit is praying on my behalf with wordless groans when I don’t know how to pray for myself. Help me to know that hope in you and in your Son Jesus is not vain, that it is an unshakeable hope. I miss my loved one, and I feel the pain of their loss. But thank you, Father, that I can bring that pain before you, that you understand it, and that you give me a peace that transcends all understanding. Please continue to heal my brokenness, help me to continue pursuing joy in you, to appreciate the life you’ve given me, and to rejoice in my loved one and the impact they had in my life and the lives of others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
You don’t have to walk alone in your grief. If you’re looking for additional support beyond these Bible verses for mourning, reach out to other loved ones, or to a Christian counselor or support group. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for grief counseling if you find that your grief is unrelenting and interfering with your day-to-day life.
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