I had to find out. As I sought the Lord, He reminded me of a statement my pastor made while speaking at a funeral for his own friend. He said, “Brokenness is not healed by explanations. Brokenness is healed by the love and grace of God.” — Pastor Ryan Bowman
Where Do We Go When We’ve Lost Hope
He’s right. In my grief, I was fixated on finding an explanation for why God would allow this horrible tragedy. My friend lived for the Lord, serving Him in missions and ministry. For years we prayed for her to find a godly husband, and God answered her prayers with the most amazing man. Yet, before they could have their wedding day, God took her. Why? I couldn’t understand how this could be His plan. My grief focused on all that was lost of our past and of the future. Broken dreams, broken hopes. But, brokenness is not healed by explanations. Brokenness is healed by the love and grace of God. That’s where I had to go to find hope again.
So I Began with the Love of God
John 3:16 tells me, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (CSB) The love of God was displayed in the gift of His Son. When I look at Jesus, I see Him hanging on the cross, bleeding the blood of redemption, bearing the weight of my sin, taking my shame, my guilt and giving Himself for me. There is no greater love than that. God’s love gave me the hope of redemption.
God’s Grace is a Gift I Don’t Deserve
I looked for God’s grace and I found it in a garden just outside an empty tomb. John 20 describes the moment when Mary Magdalene met the risen Savior:
“But Mary stood outside the tomb, crying. As she was crying, she stooped to look into the tomb. She saw two angels in white sitting where Jesus’s body had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you crying?’ ‘Because they’ve taken away my Lord,’ she told them. Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know it was Jesus. ‘Woman,’ Jesus said to her, ‘why are you crying? Who is it that you’re seeking?’ Supposing He was the gardener, she replied, ‘Sir, if you’ve carried Him away, tell me where you’ve put Him, and I will take Him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ (John 20:11-16 CSB)
Suddenly, Mary recognized Jesus and wanted to hold onto Him, never letting go. He told her to go and tell His disciples. She found them and announced, “I have seen the Lord!” Her hope was restored by His grace. God’s grace is found in the risen Savior. God’s grace gave me the hope of the resurrection.
Because of God’s Love and Grace I Can Grieve with Hope
I’m thankful God restored my hope, even in grief. And I long for the day when my hope is fulfilled in eternity with Him.
"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." I Thessalonians 4:13
Resources for Help in Walking Through Grief
A Place of Healing is not an ivory-tower treatise on suffering. It’s an intimate look into the life of a mature woman of God. Whether readers are enduring physical pain, financial loss, or relational grief, Joni invites them to process their suffering with her. Together, they will navigate the distance between God’s magnificent yes and heartbreaking no—and find new hope for thriving in-between.
“As a matter of fact, God isn't asking you to be thankful. He's asking you to give thanks. There's a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other your choices, your decisions about a situation, your intent, your step of faith.” ―Joni Eareckson Tada, A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty
Sometimes life just hurts. Out of nowhere, death, illness, unemployment, or a difficult relationship can change our lives and challenge everything we thought we knew―leaving us feeling unable to cope. But, in the midst of all this pain and confusion, we are not alone.
Weaving together his personal story, pastoral ministry experience, and biblical insights, best-selling author Paul David Tripp helps us trust God in the midst of suffering. He identifies traps to avoid in our suffering and points us instead to comforts to embrace. This raw yet hope-filled book will help you cling to God's promises when trials come and move forward with the hope of the gospel.
“Weakness simply demonstrates what has been true all along: we are completely dependent on God for life and breath and everything else. Weakness was not the end for me, but a new beginning, because weakness provides the context in which true strength is found.” ―Paul David Tripp, Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn't Make Sense
Download a free sample of Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love here.
"Christians are not exempt from grief, not yet anyway. When we lose someone, we too will deny; we will hurt; we will weep; we will rage; we may even bargain with God. The difference for us is that we have hope." —Raymond R. Mitsch and Lynn Brookside, Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love
What has helped you grieve the loss of a loved one?
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