When Hope is Lost
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?
4/19/2019 08:48:30 pm
Thank you so much for your encouragement. The hope of Easter brings such joy! I pray you experience it too!
4/19/2019 03:57:52 pm
What a great post and verse to remember, Grief is a terrible and tormenting spirit if left unchecked, I have seen it ruin lives. We never really lose hope because He is our hope. I hope you have peace about your friend, His peace.
4/19/2019 09:09:44 pm
Thank you so much. Grief is something I thought I understood, but I’m learning there is always more to learn about it. I pray you have a blessed Easter.
4/19/2019 09:12:24 pm
Thank you so much! Yes, keeping our eyes open and on Him brings such clarity in grief.
4/22/2019 03:12:15 pm
How I have been praying for you my sweet friend!
God's Word has astounded me with comfort these past few years of grief. How grateful I am that God understands our grief and has even given us words to help us express our sorrow and grieve well.
4/23/2019 12:33:46 am
Grief is a terrible thing. Thankfully our God understands our grief and wraps us in His love and comfort.
4/23/2019 07:08:36 am
Stephanie thank you for sharing and being so transparent. I know we have a great hope in Christ when we lose someone we love dearly and I am so thankful for that. Thank you for reminding us. You will never get over losing Andi but with Gods grace you will get through it. Love you girl.
4/24/2019 06:30:37 am
Blessed to walk beside you in this life on earth. Just think of the intense Grief you have felt and will continue to feel for this One special person in your life. When we think One person can cause this much pain, I have to ask the question of how did Jesus endure my grief, your grief, and my daughters grief and everyone who has ever been born grief? My thought is this is how/why Jesus sweated drops of blood in the garden.
4/25/2019 07:51:55 am
Sweet Stephanie, I’m so sorry for the pain you are experiencing in the passing of Andi. Praying for you every night when I say prayers with my Granny. And the Lord had you on my heart this morning. Praying that you feel His presence in a real and special way today.
4/20/2021 09:07:20 pm
Pam, it is so wonderful to have people in our life that constantly point us to Jesus. Stephanie has been that for me as well. Blessed!
4/26/2019 07:53:09 am
Two weeks ago I lost my dad - his death was also sudden. There was so many "what ifs"; "could'ves", "should'ves" but God has a plan for all of us and I take solace in the fact that my dad lived a full and meaningful life. Just like my dad - I place my hope in God and not people. And for that reason - there is always hope. It's interesting as my blog post for this week is about his Eulogy I delivered. From one grieving blogger to another - the grieving journey takes time and should not be rushed. We all experience it differently, but hold on to the beautiful memories of your friend. Take care and all the best #globalblogging
4/20/2021 09:10:24 pm
The "what ifs"; "could'ves", and "should'ves" are the worst, Noleen! I'm so sorry about your dad! So glad that his hope was firmly placed in God. There is no better Hope! I love how you write, "I place my hope in God and not people. And for that reason - there is always hope." Beautiful!
4/20/2021 09:11:23 pm
That's a lovely quote, Brittany. I'm so glad it spoke to you personally! Thank you!
4/28/2019 08:48:53 pm
I'm so sorry for your loss, when it is sudden it can feel so much worse. #GlobalBlogging
4/20/2021 09:12:00 pm
Thanks for stopping by, Heather! :)
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