The holidays can be very hard for people who are grieving. How can we still have gratitude in the midst of grief? Read on to find 10 Bible Verses to comfort and encourage a grieving heart.
The holidays are generally a joyful time. People expect to party; families hope to have fun. For many people, it’s like a month-long celebration, hopping from one social event to the next.
To others, it’s a time of longing for people they’ve lost.
This year, my family will be missing our matriarch. My grandmother passed away this week, and the thought of holidays without her ruby-red lips leaving kisses on all the kids is painful. Period.
It’s hard to imagine a world without her, but in the 40 years I was able to spend with her, she taught me a few things that will help.
She had joy, no matter what the circumstances surrounding her might have been. She was the life of every party, and if you had the audacity to be grumpy instead of grateful, she would sing, “Every party needs a pooper, and our party pooper’s you. Party pooper! Party Pooper!” If that didn’t work, she would look you straight in the eyes and say, “Put your lipstick on. You’ll feel better.”
This year, I know that she would want us to celebrate, not just her life but the holidays, too. She would want us to choose joy, to enjoy the family she loved so much and celebrate the Savior she trusted with her life.
When our hearts are hurting, however, we often can’t help but wonder “How?”
How can we still have gratitude in the midst of grief?
First, we can do like Grandma and rejoice in all circumstances. I think she’d join Paul in saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, ‘Rejoice!'” (Philippians 4:4)
It doesn’t always feel possible, but I don’t think Paul would tell us to do it if it were impossible. He knew we have a choice in the matter. We can always look for things to be thankful for, and usually, we’ll find them.
I am so thankful for the memories my grandmother made with us over the years. She doesn’t feel so far away when I hear myself quoting her to my kids. I’m sure I will cry as I put the cross in the kibbeh this year, but I will treasure the memories I have of cooking in her kitchen. When my sisters and I do our annual Christmas singing, I’ll think of how much fun she always had with her sisters, too, and imagine just what a celebration they’re having together now.
Because that’s the other thing I’m thankful for this year: the hope we have this holiday season. You see, I am grieving, but not without hope. My grandmother loved Jesus. She might have been a little torn between the Greek Orthodox Church of her youth and the Baptist church she’d been part of for decades, but she was clear about on thing: She loved the Lord.
Paul wrote, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uniformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus though who have fallen asleep in him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14)
Y’all, I don’t think Paul expects us not to grieve. He just doesn’t want us to grieve like those who have no hope. Because of Christ, we can agree with the poet John Donne, who wrote:
10 Bible Verses to Comfort the Grieving
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”