Grief: How to Survive When You Hurt Deep

Dr. Donna HartFor Those Giving Help, For Those Seeking HopeLeave a Comment

grief

Grief hurts. It’s a process. Jesus bore grief. There IS hope. In this article by Donna Hart, PhD, which appeared first here on her website, she provides comfort and hope for you.

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As human beings, we all have one thing in common: we experience grief to one extent or another. Grief is something we all face.

Grieving is not a cut-and-dry process. Some people process through the typical stages of grieving denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, moving toward acceptance. Other people have a very different and unique experience.  People process grieving a loss in a way that suits them, often according to the value of what they have lost.

Grief Is a Process

Some people respond with a great deal of emotion, while others may be stoic, showing no emotion at all. Some people express anger and others give in to resignation. Grief is a process–personal, variable, unpredictable, individual.

The process of grieving is not moving through a determined set of self-imposed stages. It is a time of self-reflection and evaluation of what is of most importance.The time is made more bearable as it is processed while leaning into relationship with God and others. This is not a journey designed to be done alone

When believers in Jesus Christ grieve, they do not grieve as those who do not have any hope. They do grieve, hurt and cry just like anyone else. The difference is that believers know they are comforted by a person: Jesus. Because they are comforted by Jesus, they can turn and comfort each other.

One of the most important things believers can do for each other as they grieve is to be present with each other.

Jesus Bears the Grief

When we face a loss, the best and most hopeful answer is to seek and find Jesus. The God-man brings an ability that no theory, description, or other person can ever bring to our grief.

Listen to the words of Isaiah 53:4, 7, 8, 10, 11:

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken smitten of God and afflicted. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He did not open His mouth; by oppression and judgment He was taken away; but the Lord was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief; as a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied.

In these words we start to understand the depth of Christ’s grief and loss. He is able to understand the depth of our losses and grief because He went deeper and further into grief than we ever could. In His crucifixion and death He experienced the sorrow and grief of everyone who ever lived–past, present and future.

Imagine what it must have been for Jesus to not only bear this incredible weight of grief and pain, but to do so as God poured out on Him holy wrath against sin.

  • Have we lost a loved one? So did Jesus.
  • Have we been betrayed? So has Jesus.
  • Do we feel abandoned by God?  Listen to Jesus’ words on the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
  • Are our souls anguished and crushed by loss? Jesus felt the same way.

Hope for You

How exactly has Jesus borne our grief and carried our sorrow?

The Bible does not explain in detail. It simply declares the fact that he did. This becomes a matter of faith. Take God at His Word; believe what He says is true even if it is hard to comprehend.

He experienced the breadth and depth of human sorrow as the gospels so faithfully record. Most of all, by virtue of being our Savior, He took upon Himself the grief and sorrow of others.

Crying out to God is saying that we are in desperate need of help. Take some time to reach up to God with open palms, pleading and asking God to mobilize His mercy on our behalf.

Find a trusted and safe friend, and take the step of admitting to them that you can’t handle your grief on your own. Let that friend be Jesus for you.

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