Ecclesiastes 3:2,4 (NLT2)2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
There is a familiar feeling that many who are going through grief (or loss) may feel...yet many do not have the ability to label it. It is a feeling that envelops a grieving heart, but is so subtle that many do not even realize how it is planting itself deeply down into the roots of their soul.
I don’t know what your loss looks like today and I wouldn’t dare minimize it. Take your time to grieve the loss. Take your time; let time heal the wounds of the loss. But please know: you haven’t lost everything. God is with you. As a born again child of the King, your salvation isn’t lost. Your future beyond this earth is secure.
It doesn’t matter how you feel today. It doesn’t matter if you can’t feel God’s presence. Feelings are temporary and fleeting. What is true is that He is with you. Satan would like nothing more than to convince you otherwise. There are thousands of lies that Satan will whisper in your ear. But that’s just it. They are lies - lies from the pit of Hell, designed strategically to hold you down, destroy you, steal you your hope, and kill the joy of your future. Do not stand for it. (From When You’ve Lost Everything)
The fact is, God does not expect us to have it all together, all the time, so it is a real disservice when our Chuches create this expectation. We will be unsuccessful at helping hurting people if we have not allowed ourselves to grieve and wail and mourn and go through the lament process ourselves. God understands that life is full of pressures, hurts, stings. He took on flesh so He could relate to us in both our joy and pain.
Philippians 2:7-8 NLT Instead, he gave up his divine privileges ; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.
He wants us to feel and express every emotion before Him and not minimize a thing. There is no “fake it till you make it” in Scripture. When we fake fine, we fake our way out of authentic relationship with God, others, and ourselves.
According to Scripture, pretending we’re fine and suppressing our raw emotions is not wisdom or maturity. Rather, God lovingly says to us that His grace is sufficient.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NLT Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (From Giving Thanks When It’s Tough Doesn’t Mean To Fake It).
You Don’t Have to Be Happy All the Time
By Rick Warren
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance”(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NIV).
Life is tough. Would you agree with that? Because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, the world is broken and nothing works perfectly. Your body doesn’t work perfectly, the weather doesn’t work perfectly, the economy doesn’t work perfectly, no relationship works perfectly. Life is full of losses.
You need to understand a couple of truths that will give you a better perspective as you face the inevitable losses in your life and rise above them.
1. God doesn’t expect you to be happy all the time.
There is this myth that Christians should be always smiling, always happy, always cheerful.
In fact, the Bible says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens . . . a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NIV).
Sometimes the only appropriate, logical response to life is grief. The Bible says you are to grieve over your losses, including your disappointments, your sin, the suffering in the world, and your friends who are spiritually lost. God doesn’t expect you to be happy all the time. In fact, he wants you to be intentional in your grief.
2. Grief is essential to your health.
If you never grieve over anything, it means one of three things: You’re out of touch with reality, you’re out of touch with your own emotions, or you don’t love. When you love and you see sad things, grief is a natural response.
Grief is a painful emotion, but it’s also a healthy and helpful emotion. And it’s God’s gift. It’s a tool that God gives us to get through the transitions of life.
Maybe you were hurt many years ago growing up. Maybe your parents divorced. Maybe you were abused. Maybe you were hurt by something somebody said about you. As a child, you didn’t know how to grieve in a healthy way, so you just pushed it down deep inside you.
You need to go back and grieve over it. Why? Because if you don’t grieve, you get stuck emotionally, and you spend the rest of your life reacting to something that happened a long time ago and taking it out on the people around you now. It’s unhealthy!
David talked about this in Psalm 32:3: “When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long” (NCV).
The bad things that happen to you are not your choice. But grief is a choice. You may say, “I don’t like feeling sad.” Not everything that’s helpful and healthy feels good. You’ve got to let yourself mourn losses so that you can move on with your life and receive God’s blessing.
Editor's Note the following is from 4 Ways to Embrace the Power of Grieving by Lisa Murray, with scriptures added by me.
As painful a season as it is, grief a necessary part of our healing. To run from grief is to run from the very thing that can quell the pain of our loss. English poet and hymnodist, William Cowper, described grief as medicine. Grief cleanses the anguish from our souls and sets us back up on the path of life so we can dance.
Grieving is the process God uses to bring us to a place of wholeness. Grieving is His great gift to us. It is a necessary part of our journey.
1. Create space to grieve.
Don’t hurry past the pain. Don’t distract yourself from the sorrow. You will experience strong emotions —anger, depression, fear, and despair— that you may never have experienced before. Allow yourself to feel these emotions in the presence of God. Create intentional space to simply be and trust that is enough.
Psalm 34:18 (NLT2)18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
Psalm 147:3 (NLT2)3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
Matthew 5:4 (NLT2)4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
2. Be honest about your emotions.
Being a Christian does not mean that we don’t feel negative emotions. God doesn't want us to run from our emotions or hide behind a mask. He wants his children to come to Him with complete honesty. In the Psalms, God invites us to bring our honest grief to Him.avid depicts God as a loving Father who watches over His children and listens for their cries.
Psalm 34:15 (NLT2)15 The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right; his ears are open to their cries for help.
Don't hide your emotions. Don’t ignore your pain. Cry. Laugh. Scream, knowing that God is right there with you. He will hold you in His arms while you heal. He loves and cares for you.
3. Don’t grieve alone.
We need support while we grieve. Find individuals to walk with you. Whether it’s a loved-one, a friend, a therapist, or a support group, we need the ministry of compassion that can only come as we walk in community with others.
Don’t isolate. Find people who can be there for you. Look around for those God has put in your path to support you and encourage you on your journey. Grieving is one of the most difficult seasons – don’t walk this season alone.
4. Don’t lose hope.
Trust that this season won’t last forever. There will be other seasons to come.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 (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.
We have hope. We not only have the hope that this season of mourning will end, we have the hope that as Believers, only a thin veil separates us from our ultimate destiny with Christ in heaven for eternity. There is no greater hope!
Revelation 21:4 (NLT2)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.”
Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT2)11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!