Finding God in Grief: How to Draw Closer to God While Walking Through Loss

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Grief is the expression of deep sadness and sorrow. It erupts from the loss of something we value and love.

Finding God in grief allows us to freely grieve while holding onto hope and a promise that is bigger than any loss we are experiencing.

When we experience grief, God’s presence comforts us regardless of what we have lost.

  • Finding God in grief is possible after the death of a loved one.
  • Finding God in grief is possible after the end of a friendship.
  • Finding God in grief is possible when a dream is unfulfilled or ends.

Unexpected encounters with grief surround us. We may wonder, Why me? Why is this grief a part of my story? Is my grief here to help me find God in grief? When will my grieving stop?

Finding God in grief does not eliminate the process we have to go through in order to heal; but faith helps us cling to something bigger and stronger than our crushed spirit.

Whether you are facing grief or walking beside a grieving loved one, finding God in grief is possible when we put our trust in Jesus and His great love for us.

God’s greatest command and our greatest joy is to love extravagantly. When we love big, we grieve big. Holding onto Jesus we can make it to the other side of our pain.

“Bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love.” C.S. Lewis

“My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 73:26

lit candle-finding God in grief

How to Deal with Grief Spiritually

When we learn how to deal with grief spiritually, it transforms how we grieve. It also helps us empathize with others who are grieving.

Dealing with grief spiritually doesn’t remove the sting or crippling pain of sorrow. Grief plunges us into an unknown space and demands that we pay attention to it. But God’s faithfulness partners with us and carries the weight of our sorrow.

Finding God in grief helps us climb over sorrow while preventing us from being completely debilitated and unable to focus on our life, our relationships, our purpose, and our future.

The doorbell rang on a typical Sunday afternoon. I didn’t jump up right away, because it is usually a neighbor or the friend of one of my kids.

But not this time.

I heard whispers coming from the front porch; my curiosity peaked and I approached the door.

Grief was standing before me so real it felt I could reach out and grab it.

A small disheveled lady stood on the porch talking to my husband. I immediately knew she was overwhelmingly sad as if she was wearing a heavy cape of oppression. I could feel her despair.

My husband was trying to help her but couldn’t answer her questions.

She looked me in the eyes and said, “Do you know my grandson, Jack? He lives near here.” She seemed confused and disoriented. As we unpacked her request, we made the connection that my son went to school with Jack.

That is when the realization hit me, Jack’s dad had died unexpectedly; she had just lost her son. Grief surrounded her threatening to choke off her ability to live and breathe; she seemed lost and unable to find hope.

I felt compassion and was reminded that grief makes us feel and do strange things.

Relying on God’s direction on how to deal with grief spiritually, we began to gently guide her to finding God in grief moment by moment.

“Grief can be overwhelming. It affects the way you feel, how you sleep, every one of your relationships, and the way you think about the future. It’s hard just to get out of bed in the morning, and every task feels like a heavy burden. The crushing feelings of helplessness, fear, and isolation seem relentless. When you feel like you’re drowning in grief, let your faith be your lifeline.”

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path in woods-finding God in grief

How to Overcome the Spirit of Grief

As we tried to help our neighbor, we learned she was suffocating from the weight of the sorrow she was carrying. She had no one to talk to and her family was not ready to talk about her grief or loss.

We are not counselors or experts in grief management, but we serve an amazing God and want to be used to bring His hope to others. We felt we had been given the assignment to encourage and help her overcome the spirit of grief; to demonstrate the love of Christ to someone who was in tremendous pain.

We also recognized that this random visitor needed acceptance and for us to listen and embrace where she was and needed help finding God in grief.

4 Ways to Overcome the Spirit of Grief

On my porch that day we realized the importance of finding God in grief after a great loss.

Here four ways we reached out:

  • Talk about your loss and your pain when you are ready- We listened to her and affirmed the life of her son.
  • Pray alone and with others- We asked her if we could pray with her and then prayed together standing in our driveway
  • Seek Professional Counsel- We suggested she continue her grief conversations with a professional
  • Take the Next Step-  We got in our car and guided her to where she wanted to go

We have not seen our visitor again, and I am sure she has been on a grueling journey of grieving for her son. But I will never forget her raw grief or the spark of hope in her eyes as she became acquainted with the hope only God offers.

“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.”

Helen Keller

How Does God Comfort Us When We Grieve or Mourn?

Some of us go through stages of grief over a long period of time and others can process grief quicker. There is no exact formula on how to grieve, and we don’t need to measure how we grieve. Mourning is an extremely personal journey with many highs and lows. Finding God in grief is the greatest resource to heal.

As my dog, Mackie, deteriorated in health, we started the grieving process. We all began to say goodbye while he was still alive to make the transition smoother. When our sweet Mackie died, we had to adjust and fill the beautiful place he left vacant. It was a process that took time while we resisted the urge to prematurely fill the vacancy or numb the pain.

Grieving for a pet may not be as crippling as the loss of a loved one but it is still a process we walk through with or without God.

When something or someone fills us with joy, if they leave through death or other reasons, we are left with a gaping hole. We can grieve by filling our emptiness with many unhealthy choices or deny the pain the loss caused.

Or we can decide finding God in grief will allow us to release the outpouring of sorrow to Him.

How does God comfort us when we grieve? His presence surrounds us and always guides us back to hope. Not a superficial hope or denial; a real replacement from the emptiness of loss to the fullness of His love. That is the best result of finding God in grief.

Regardless of our loss or how we grieve, it is important to understand how God comforts us when we grieve and mourn.

Questioning God after the death of a loved one is a natural reaction. When we are devastated by loss, we are seeking answers and God can handle our questions.

Grieving does not mean we have lost our connection to God or that our faith is faltering. We can be angry with God as we transition through grief. He will support and walk beside you surrounding you with a peace that passes understanding.

Finding God in grief is the best way to hold onto our faith, process, and recover from the loss of someone or something we love.

girl's face-finding God in grief

Providing Hope in Grief

Grief is hard, and we are not created for loss. It is an unnatural part of life that we never grow comfortable with.

When we are grieving, we need time, support from family and friends, and supernatural power to move on.

When we provide hope in grief to others it can be a motivating factor and propel us to make sense of our loss through serving others.

We don’t need to be grief experts to provide hope in grief or to help those in need. We can acknowledge others’ grief and that there is a gap in wholeness where hope is needed.

Providing hope in grief is not fixing the problem or eliminating the pain it is:

  • Listening without assuming we understand the pain or the need
  • Praying for the person who needs help finding God in grief
  • Gently guiding them toward a next step

We all go through seasons of grief. Finding God in grief is how we are able to move past our loss, comfort others, and stay connected to Jesus.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Bible Verses About Grief

When you are grieving, in despair, and need to hear from God there are many Bible verses that point us to peace. Here are 8 scriptures about grief that can be helpful in finding God in grief.

  • “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
    John 16:33
  • “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
    Matthew 5:4
  • “…my eyes are dim with grief. I call to you, Lord, every day; I spread out my hands to you.”
    Psalm 88:9
  • “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
    Philippians 4:7
  • “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
    Psalm 23:4
  • “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers, they succeed.”
    Proverbs 15:22
  • “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
    Romans 12:15
  • “The Lord is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope.” Psalm 34:18 GNT

books with flower-finding God in grief

Christian Books on Grief

The Bible has been the greatest source for me to cling to God in the midst of grief. Books on grief are tricky because they are hard to read in the midst of the tough feelings that accompany loss.

Reading various sources is helpful while questioning God after the death of a loved one. Christian books on grief, point us to Jesus and can serve as a resource long after we feel we desperately need them.

Here are several books on loss, finding God in grief, and overcoming hard times that are helpful.

3 Christian Books on Finding God in Grief

#1 The Hard Good: Showing Up for God to Work in You When You Want to Shut Down

by Lisa Whittle

Learn how to see the good, again, even after hard times.

What does it feel like to come back from something hard, to be able to hope again? Hard things are a part of life. Yet they don’t have to have the final word. They can become the keys to our greatest usability in the kingdom of God—that is, if we let God make good of them, rather than running away and refusing the growth we truly crave.

#2 Good Grief: A Companion for Every Loss

by Granger E. Westberg

For more than fifty years Good Grief has helped millions of readers, including NFL players and a former first lady, find comfort, understand their emotions and regain hope after loss. This classic text identifies ten stages of grief — shock, emotion, depression, physical distress, panic, guilt, anger, resistance, hope, and acceptance — but recognizing that grief is complex and deeply personal, defines no “right” way to grieve.

#3 Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love: Daily Meditations to Help You Through the Grieving Process

by Raymond R. Mitsch and Lynn Brookside 

This series of thoughtful daily devotions can help you endure the anguish and uncertainty; understand the cycles of grief; sort through the emotions of anger, guilt, fear, and depression; and face the God who allowed you to lose the one you love.

Finding God in Grief

During my heaviest periods of despair finding God in grief was the only comfort I could cling to.

  • Finding God in grief has been a safe place to process my feelings and walk through the stages of loss.
  • Finding God in grief is not a bandage for our sorrow, but the path to walk through grief with Jesus who loves us more than what we have lost absorbing our loneliness and an overwhelming sense of loss.
  • Finding God in grief is not limited to death although that is the most difficult form of grieving. Questioning God after the death of a loved one is probably the most difficult conversation. But we also grieve when we lose a friend, a job, a spouse, a pet, or a home due to various circumstances.

Losing anything we love and value can lead to grief. The grieving process is an important part of spiritual growth. We learn to rely on God and gain a deep understanding of our limitations.

“I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process.” C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

No one can stop all loss but we can learn that finding God in grief is the best way to grow closer to Jesus while experiencing true healing.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give your rest.” Matthew 11:28

Before you go…Has finding God in grief been part of your journey? Would love to hear from you in the comments.

flower-finding God in grief

 

 

 

Mary Rooney Armand

Mary Rooney Armand is a writer and speaker focusing on inspiring faith-based stories. She helps others grow in their intimacy with Christ and thrive in their personal relationships. Mary lives in New Orleans with her husband Cory and four children. Besides writing and speaking, she teaches Bible Studies and leads small groups. Mary has a Master of Business Administration and is a Life Coach. In 2019 she created ButterflyLiving and wrote a Bible Study titled, “Identity” which is available on Amazon. To learn more visit maryarmand.com or email [email protected]

2 thoughts on “Finding God in Grief: How to Draw Closer to God While Walking Through Loss”

  1. Hi. As I read about you helping your visitor, I thought about how we are helping Jesus as we help others. Beautiful story. Grief can be a difficult subject. Keeping our eyes on God is the best solution. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

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