Bad things happen because we are on earth, not in heaven. Sin is present so nothing is perfect. But how do we respond to trials in life? What do we do when we are broken hearted?
There is no growth without change, there is no change without loss, there is no loss without pain, there is no pain without grief. To go through life without grief is like a mother saying I want to have a baby without going through labor.
There are two worldly ways to forget pain: Repression (subconsciously blocking painful thoughts), Suppression (consciously blocking painful thoughts). God’s way is to express it to him and to others. Psalm 32:3: When I kept things to myself, I felt weak deep inside me. I moaned all day long. Moaning is negative, having a pity-party. Mourning is positive, it is crying out to God.
You can’t go over, above, under, around grief. You go through it. Matthew 5:4: Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. Does this mean to be blessed, you have to mourn? Apparently so, since this is a way that God brings you closer to him.
1. God draws us close to Himself
- Psalm 34:18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
- You feel that God is a million miles away, but the Bible says He is close to the brokenhearted.
- Hebrews 13:5 I will never leave you and I will never abandon you.
- Never – not even in your worst pain, worst disgrace and shame.
- 2 Corinthians 6:10 Our hearts ache, but at the same time we have the joy of the Lord.
- That’s the difference with having Jesus. He is near. God never intended us to experience pain alone
2. God grieves with us.
- The reason we have the ability to grieve is because we are made in the image of God.
- God is a suffering God, He suffers with us.
- Isaiah 54:3 Jesus was a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. He knew suffering first hand.
- When we go to Jesus, he’s not saying, “I don’t know what you’re feeling, just move on.” No! Jesus knew the bitterest grief and he understands what you feel.
- John 11:35 Jesus wept
- Jesus wept because he loved Lazarus. Loving someone and losing him/her will cause you to grieve.
- Jesus is the strongest man who ever lived, but he cried. Never be embarassed by tears.
3. God gives us a church family for support
- Romans 12:5, 10, 15 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.
- Get into a small group
- You either need comfort or you need to comfort. You either need help or you need to help.
How to help others:
- Never minimize someone’s pain – “At least you’re still young, at least you’re still pretty.”
- Never rush people – Pain and grief takes time. A feeling is never right or wrong, it’s just a feeling. Show grace to people.
4. God uses grief to help us grow
- CS Lewis: God whispers to us in pleasure, and shouts to us in pain.
- Pain is God’s megaphone. We rarely change when we see the light. We change when we feel the heat.
- Proverbs 20:30 Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our way.
- Romans 8:28 We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him. (It’s an opportunity to grow in character).
- 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
5. God gives us the hope of heaven
- We grieve with hope.
- Christians grieve with hope, non believers grieve without hope.
- Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.
6. God uses our pain to help others
- God never waste a hurt, but we often do.
- This is the highest and best use. Who can better help of an addiction, molestation, murder, failed marriage but someone who has been through the same thing.
- 2 Corinthians 1:4 God who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
- My greatest ministry will come out of my greatest hurt.