Have you ever felt like that after losing a loved one?
“I am beyond heart broken and praying for peace." That's what a friend sent me in a text a few days ago. Then on Sunday March 3, 2019 a number of destructive tornadoes hit Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Twenty-three fatalities, some of them children, were reported as a result of the tornadoes, in Lee County Alabama. A friend of mine lost 10 family members, who lived in Lee County, in a matter of minutes.
My wife went went to be with the Lord on January 24, 2015 and I suffered through a long period of grief. Me wife lost all of her siblings, and two children in the 40 years that we were married and I watched and suffered with her as she grieved each of those losses. Those were difficult times, and I don’t want to lessen the periods of grief which were very real, but they were each for one person at a time. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to suffer the loss of 10 loved ones at once. This reminds me of the woman who lost 9 family members when the duck boat sank in Branson, Missouri last year.
We can pray for my friend and her family, and we can be present to offer support but there is nothing that can take away the pain. The greatest source of comfort we can offer comes from the Bible. God knows, feels, and understands our pain and His Word offers some consolation. Here are 10 Scriptures about death to comfort the grieving. The Scriptures were compiled by Lori Hatcher in her article 10 Scriptures about Death to Comfort the Grieving. This post is for my friends.
Editor’s Note: You can read the original article by clicking the link. This post includes my edits to the original article.
1. Isaiah 53:3 (NLT2)3 He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care.
This verse is meaningful to me because it reminds us that while no one on earth could understand your unique pain, Jesus can. Fully God and fully man, Jesus experienced the depths of human emotion during his time on earth so he could identify with our grief. This verse gave and
John 11:34-35 (NLT2)34 “Where have you put him?” he asked them. They told him, “Lord, come and see.”35 Then Jesus wept.
are unshakable proof that God is not only aware of your grief, but grieves with you.
2. Psalm 56:8 (NLT2)8 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.
You may not understand the physiology of tears, but you may shed a lot during days of grieving. You’ll remember little things, that you never thought about while your loved one was with you, and they will make you cry. You may even call their names thinking they’ll answer then you remember that they won’t be answering.
This Scripture says that God would collect every one of your tears. The ones you blink back. The ones you cried cry silently. The ones that soak your pillow in the middle of the night. Not a single tear escapes His notice. Each one is precious to Him, because you are precious to Him.
3. Psalm 23:4 (NLT2)4 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.
This reminds you that death is only a shadow. It passes over for a moment, but it cannot permanently hurt the believer. Dwight L. Moody described it this way, “The valley of the shadow of death holds no darkness for the child of God. There must be light, else there could be no shadow. Jesus is the light. He has overcome death.”
4. John 14:2-4 (NLT2)2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.
Many believe death is the end of life, but Christians know it is the portal to eternal life. When Christ died on the cross and rose again, He went on ahead to prepare a place for us.Take great comfort in knowing your loved ones who are believers in Jesus are with Him in a real place called heaven. Instead of mourning because you’ll never see them again, you can look forward to spending eternity with them in the presence of Jesus.
5. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NLT2)13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.14 For since we believe that Jesus died and was raised to life again, we also believe that when Jesus returns, God will bring back with him the believers who have died.
The hope of the resurrection is sometimes the only thing that keeps us from being utterly consumed by grief. As the apostle Paul said
1 Corinthians 15:19 (NLT2)19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
The believer’s hope reaches far beyond our mortal lives. Christ didn’t come simply to give us a better life here on earth. He died and rose again to prove there is a resurrection for everyone who believes in him. Because of this, we can be hope filled, even in our sorrow.
This verse, paired with the New Testament story of Jesus’ last hours on the cross, reassures us that as soon as your loved ones took their last breaths on earth, they took their first breaths in heaven. You don’t have to wonder if they’re languishing in some in-between holding place hoping to one day see Jesus. Like Christ told the thief on the cross when he placed his faith in him,
Luke 23:42-43 (NLT2)42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”43 And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
A pastor once described death as walking from one room into the next. The moment your loved ones stepped out of the room called earth, they stepped into the room called heaven. And Jesus was waiting for them there.
7. Psalm 116:15 (NLT2)15 The LORD cares deeply when his loved ones die.
Lori writes this in almost every sympathy card she sends. “Through it God says, Your loved one’s death is of infinite value to me. I see every detail. I am present in every agonizing moment. She’s not just one of thousands of souls entering eternity today; her passage is significant because it brings her home to Me.”
8. 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 (NLT2)51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!52 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.53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.54 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.55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
9. Revelation 21:3-5 (NLT2)3 I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them.4 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.”5 And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.”
The thought of Jesus wiping away your tears once and for all is a precious thought. Think of a world where there is no more sorrow, sickness, pain, and death. Picture a place where sin’s curse has been removed, and we’ll never again have to experience the agonizing pain of cancer, Alzheimer’s, or heart disease. No hospitals. No cancer centers. No funeral homes. Just health, joy, and peace.
10. Psalm 30:5 (NLT2)5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. (emphasis mine)
Lori’s pastor said,. “Right now,” he said, “you feel like you’ll never be happy again, but you will. You may wonder if it’s okay, if being happy somehow dishonors your loved one. Trust me, it doesn’t.”
You will smile again. Even in the midst of your grief. You’ll laugh through your tears at the silly things your loved ones had done or said. Other times you’ll share a special memory or tell a story that makes you feel close to them again. There’s healing in tears, but there’s also healing in laughter. You have permission to experience them both in your journey through grief.