It’s possible that, as you read this article, you have conflict and chaos happening in your life right now. Perhaps you’ve just lost a job, or a significant relationship in your life seems to be falling apart, or you’re dealing with a loss or health crisis you didn’t see coming.
Here’s the good news . . . God wants to bless you when you’re broken!
The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 3:1,4: “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” (NIV). In other words, life is a series of opposites.
The Bible says that sometimes weeping is appropriate. Sometimes mourning is appropriate. Sometimes grieving is appropriate. In fact, God blesses you when you grieve.
Processing grief is absolutely essential and is the healthiest choice when you experience a loss. It is essential to your emotional health, your spiritual health, your physical health, and your mental health. In fact, grief is God’s tool to get you through the transitions of life.
There is no growth in your life without change. There is no change without loss. There is no loss without pain. And there is no pain without grief.
And when you’re willing to grieve over your pain, you allow God to bless and comfort you and minister to your deepest needs. Here are six ways he does that.
1. God draws you closer to himself when you grieve.
Psalm 34:18 says,“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (ESV).
God is close to the brokenhearted. He’s paying attention. He’s not distant. He’s right there with you, and he never leaves or forsakes his people.
2. God grieves right along with you.
The reason you have the ability to grieve is because you are made in God’s image. The only reason you have any emotion at all is because God is an emotional God.
The Bible tells us that God grieves. The Bible tells us that God weeps. In other words, God is a suffering God, and God is a sympathetic God. He’s not indifferent, he’s not apathetic. He’s not standing on the sidelines. He suffers with us.
3. God gives you a church family for support.
God never meant for you to go through life on your own. When you carry it all yourself, you’re carrying a load that God never intended for you to have. God says we’re meant to grieve in community. Healing comes in groups. Healing comes in the church. Healing comes in community. We’re better together. You weren’t meant to carry it on your own.
In Romans 12, there are three verses that illustrate this truth. “In Christ we who are many form one Body, and each member belongs to all the others… Be devoted to each other like a loving family… Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:5,10,15).
You’re either going through pain yourself, and you need comfort. Or you’re not going through pain, and you need to comfort others. You either need comfort or you need to be a comforter.
4. God grows you up through your grief.
God uses grief and pain to help us grow. Here are three examples:
- First, God uses pain to get our attention. C. S. Lewis wrote “God whispers to us in our pleasure but he shouts to us in our pain . . . Pain is God’s megaphone.”
- Second, he brings good out of bad. One of the most famous verses in the Bible is Romans 8:28, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (NIV).
- And third, he prepares us for eternity. In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, we read: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (NIV).
5. God gives you the hope of Heaven.
This life is not all there is. This is just the warm-up act. We’re living for so much more.
The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, in talking about believers who died, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope” (ESV).
6. God uses your pain to help others.
There’s a purpose in your pain, which makes it redemptive. God never wastes a hurt, but we often do because we’re not willing to use it to help other people. He wants you to redirect your focus. The Bible teaches us in 2 Corinthians 1:4,“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (NLT).
Your greatest ministry will come out of your deepest hurt. We think the world is impressed by how we handle prosperity. But the world is actually impressed by how we handle adversity. We think that it is our success that gives us credibility to be a witness. But God says it is our suffering that gives us credibility.