Finding Relief Through My Grief
About 10 years ago, I had an opportunity to travel to the Lansing state prison with the prison ministry. I was invited to sit on a panel to answer questions after the choir sang and some preaching. After a few questions from the inmates, a young man raised his hand and asked a heartfelt question in response to the sermon. He asked “How am I supposed to believe in GOD when my mother is dying?” It was very evident that he was facing the reality of a double loss, a double separation from his mother. And frustration, sadness, and grief were setting in. I remember we directed him to the fact that Jesus is the resurrection, and that is the foundation for his faith in GOD. But you know sometimes someone can hear and even understand that about Jesus, it still doesn’t take away the grief one feels due to a loss in their lives. I recognize that the family that meets here has recently dealt with much loss of loved ones, and some may still be grieving from a loss from past years. And if you haven’t felt the reality of grief in life, as you continue living you will deal with grief at some point. While I don’t have the power to remove anyone’s grief, I do intend to encourage us all on “Finding Relief Through My Grief”. My plan is to provide this encouragement from the richness of the Psalms and other books inspired by GOD. For as our text says, through comfort and patience of scripture, we find hope beyond our grief.
Grief is a feeling that begins with your inner person. It is an emotional suffering, sorrow, and distress. Although it begins inwardly, it translates to our outward appearance and behavior. Although it is first felt inside, it is a natural response to a major loss with my outer person. For example losing family/friends, job, health, relationships, etc. It is natural, so don’t think you have to avoid it. And it often takes time, not determined by anyone else. The Psalmist describes it as: darkness, painful, weak and worn out, lasting, appearance change, affects body and soul. Although this the picture, at the same time, we are encouraged not to do it like those who don’t have hope (which is an assurance of the future that provides relief). But how do we find that relief? What I will show you is having and growing in an understanding of and faith in the who (character), what (actions and promises), when (circumstantial), and where (his location) about our GOD and responding accordingly that will help us find that relief.
GOD Hears Us - 5:17
In this context David is afflicted and grieved by the loss of a friendship, and the betrayal that has led to death threats on his life. He was extremely overwhelmed and grieved by the entire circumstance. But then he says all day I will cry to GOD, and he will hear me.
Application: Whatever loss we’ve encountered, we must believe that our GOD hears us when we’re crying. When we cry, it is a plea of help from GOD. Just as a parent knows the sound of their child’s voice in the midst of other noise, GOD hears our cry.
GOD Is Near -
Sometimes our losses can be so devastating that we feel all alone. After the funeral and the spurt of outreach, when time settles it feels like it’s just me and my grief. But David wants us to know that when your heart, your inner person, is crushed and you just feel like an emotional wreck, it is in that moment that GOD has gotten extremely close to you! Well just how close does GOD get when we’re in this deep moment of grief?
GOD Documents Our Condition -
There’s new technology for beds that can detect and document ones movement, heartbeat, and breaths as they sleep. But in order for this to work and be effective, you have to be in the bed! Not on the couch or your favorite chair, because that’s too far. So when David confirms that GOD has completely recorded his restlessness, it also affirms GOD’s nearness during our grief. Furthermore, GOD keeps our tears in his bottle. That’s how much he cares about us in us grief.
GOD Heals Us -
In addition to documenting our state, GOD is a doctor who begins surgery on our souls. He recognizes our pain and understands the blow that caused it, and is able to cure provide the cure for our souls. I remember when I was 12 or 13 in football practice, and suffered a blow to my thumb that fractured it. Days later, I was scheduled for it to be set. After giving me two shots of anesthesia, he gave me a towel which somewhat confused me. He used an ink pen and then his hands to bend my thumb back in place as I bit on the towel and groaned loudly. I’m trying to get us to see that in our pain, wounds, and brokenness, GOD is healing and bandaging our souls.
GOD’s Word Comforts - ,
Thus far we’ve looked at GOD’s character and care for our grief, pain, and sorrow. But now we will look at a couple ways or methods that GOD comforts our spirits. is wholly dedicated to the extreme significance of GOD’s word in the life of a child of GOD. And in regards to pain, sorrow, and affliction, the Psalmist declares the source of his comfort or relief. It is the power of the word (specifically GOD’s promises) to preserve and sustain my life. Additionally, we must have an extreme delight and satisfaction in all of GOD’s word. David says if not, then I would give up on life in the midst of my pain.
GOD’s Children Comfort - ;
After Sarah died, it definitely caused Abraham to grieve, but it must’ve been very heavy on Isaac her son. In fact, we can see part of dealing with his grief was meditating in verse 63. But it wasn’t until after he took Rebekah as his wife that this history informs us that he was comforted. And then Paul explains how GOD comforted he and his companions by the presence of Titus. Sometimes it’s just someones presence that can comfort and bring relief. Furthermore, it was the comforting message that he brought about the Corinthians concern for Paul.
A Change Will Come - ,
Lastly I want you to see that GOD keeps his promises of joy, comfort, and relief. He will not see us suffer forever. Just as the seasons do not last forever, but have their turning point, GOD has ordained that in due time our grief will go away. Not only will it go away, but it will result in joy. Verse 5 is not indicating that all weeping and grief actually lasts for 1 night. Israel mourned for Moses 30 days. The emphasis is in the text is on the word “but” which is a contrast to the duration of the weeping. The emphasis is that a change will come! And it when it comes it will be shouts of joy. Verses 11-12 echoes the same thing, and that’s the fact that GOD has changed the condition of the Psalmist. It is a relief for us to know that the grief we’re feeling and experiencing now will not last forever. The purpose is to bring us to praise. That’s what endures is dancing, gladness, praise, and thanksgiving!!!