8 Ways Christians can find Comfort when Grieving

March 28, 2024

Written byAdelekan Bolanle

A Christian’s journey is not a walk in the park. The journey is filled with many obstacles and pain that can cause grief and tears. The good news is that God has given us his word that he is with us in that painful and hurtful time of grief. In this article, we will explore the concept of grief from a Christian’s perspective; the meaning of grief, finding comfort when grieving, what Christians can do when grieving, those who experienced grief in the bible and many more.

You can use the table of contents to jump to the section you are most interested in.

finding comfort in grief
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What Is The Meaning Of Grief?

Grieve means to experience deep sorrow, sadness, and emotional pain in response to loss or a painful event. It is natural for humans to grieve when we experience any type of loss, including the death of a loved one, the end of a relationship, a significant life change, or the loss of a cherished possession.

People who grieve experience various emotions which may include; sadness, anger, guilt, confusion, and despair. Grief can also manifest physically, with symptoms such as fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and physical pain.

Some common experiences that can lead to grief include:

1. Death of a loved one

2. Relationship breakup

3. Loss of health

4. Loss of employment

5. Loss of a dream

6. Loss of safety or security

7. Miscarriage or infertility

8. Loss of a cherished possession

Is It A Sin To Grieve?

No, it is not a sin to grieve.
Grieving is a healthy response to loss. It is a vital part of coping with loss. It allows individuals to process their emotions, adjust to the new realities, find healing and redirect emotions. Many times I’ve heard Christians encourage others by saying they shouldn’t mourn or grieve, I believe people should be allowed to mourn and grieve when they need to. It is important to express your emotions especially when the event just happened.
There are biblical examples of people who grieved that we can learn from.

Too many Christians feel that grief is wrong, that we’re supposed to rejoice when a loved one goes to be with the Lord. While we can rejoice in their homegoing, we can also grieve our loss.

 Bruce Barton

what are Biblical Examples of People who Grieved?

The Bible is filled with stories of individuals who experienced grief and loss, and how they navigated through these challenging times with faith and resilience. Some notable examples include:

1. Job

Job’s story is one filled with grief, pain, anger and happiness at the end. Job faced every kind of loss that can cause a man grief; he lost his children, possessions, health, wife and even his sleep. I sometimes wonder what my reaction would be to such an incident; I can only imagine his hurt and grief. Despite his travail and questioning of God, Job remained faithful and ultimately found restoration.

2. David

King David is usually celebrated for his valour and strength but not his resilience in grief. King David experienced grief on multiple occasions, including the loss of his infant son with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:15-23), the death of his beloved friend Jonathan (2 Samuel 1:17-27), and the death of his son Amnon and Absalom (2 Samuel 13:23-38 , 2 Samuel 18:9-33) . He also faced being removed from power by his biological children twice (1 Kings 1, 1 Kings 2:19). David expressed his grief through lamentation and prayer which formed some of the psalms we read in the bible.

3. Naomi

 Naomi experienced grief through the loss of her husband and two sons while living in Moab (Ruth 1:1-5). She was so deeply affected by the event that she turned her name to “Mara” meaning “bitter”. God consoled her through Ruth who stayed with her helping her to overcome her grief.

4. Hannah

Hannah struggled with infertility and endured the grief of longing for a child (1 Samuel 1:1-20). She was labelled barren and had to endure the pain of bareness and infertility. In her grief, she poured out her heart to God, expressing her pain and she found the joy her soul longed for. She poured out her heart in prayer, and God eventually blessed her with a son, Samuel. Hannah’s story illustrates the power of faith and perseverance in the face of grief and longing.

5. Jesus

Our Lord Jesus experienced grief and sorrow, especially in the moment leading to his crucifixion. Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35). Jesus expressed his grief in the Garden of Gethsemane before his arrest (Matthew 26:36-46). Through his suffering and death, Jesus ultimately conquered sin and death, offering hope and redemption to all who believed.

The biblical examples mentioned above show that it is part of human nature to grieve. God isn’t angry with you when you grieve but God is interested in how we grieve.

13 Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep [in death], so that you will not grieve [for them] as the others do who have no hope [beyond this present life].

1 Thessalonians 4:13

How Can a Christian find comfort when Grieving?

A Christian is a human being and we will always act like one. There are many ways humans can react to grief or pain, some of which may lead to negative consequences. As believers, God understands our pain hurt and grief, if we allow the Holy Spirit to be our guide and help in times of grief and sorrow we will be able to handle our grieve in a rewarding way. Here are some of the ways a Christian can handle grief:

1. Pray and express your grief to God. I know it may be difficult to turn to God in times of grief, but our emotions are in full swing and praying to God who allowed us to experience such grief can be overwhelming. Sometimes, there is anger and questions instead of deep reflection. Praying to God and expressing how I feel is one of the things that work for me.

Turn to prayer as a way to communicate with God. Share your feelings, thoughts, and struggles with Him, knowing that He hears and understands your pain. I have realised that God understands our pains more than friends and family.

2. Meditate on the scriptures and draw encouragement from God’s word. As we examined previously, there are stories in the bible that serve as encouragement for us. Bible verses such as Psalm 23, Isaiah 41:10 and Romans 8:28 can provide encouragement during times of grief.

3. Seek support from church and other faith communities. Seek support and fellowship within your church community by attending worship services, where you can find comfort through prayer, worship, and the encouragement of fellow believers. Grief often tempts us to isolate ourselves and it gives us the impression that we’re the only ones going through difficult times.

Always remember that “accepting support doesn’t mean you are weak”.

4. You can reach out to your pastor or spiritual mentor for support and guidance through your trying times. Let them know how they can help you; they can offer spiritual counsel and support as you navigate through your grief.

5. Let gratitude become your lifestyle. I know you have lost something which is causing you grief but there are other things in your life that you can be grateful for. Intentionally focus on expressing gratitude for the blessings in your life. Recognizing God’s faithfulness and goodness, even in difficult times, can help shift your perspective and bring comfort.

6. Write your thoughts in a journal. Journaling is very therapeutic, it helps us to express our thoughts in ways that words cannot. I love writing my thoughts when I am going through very difficult times because it helps me to express my thoughts. Journaling lifts my burdens and I love it more because I can read these thoughts in the future and appreciate my growth.  

7. Seek professional counselling if necessary. Consider seeking professional counselling or therapy from a Christian counsellor who integrates faith-based perspectives into therapy. A counsellor can provide additional support and guidance as you navigate the emotional and psychological aspects of grief.

8. Hold unto the promises of God; it is your best bet. Lean on the promises of God, knowing that He is with you in your grief. Holding unto the promises of God offers comfort, strength and hope in our grief. Always Remember, that He will carry you through the darkest times and bring healing to your brokenness.

finding comfort while grieving
Photo by Jack Sparrow

What are God’s Promises to us when Grieving?

Here are 5 things God has promised us when we grieve and we can hold God unto his word.

1. God promises comfort for whoever is grieving. Matthew 5:4

2. He promises that his presence is always with you. Psalm 34:18

3. God’s peace is available even when you’re going through the worst time. Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

4. There is hope for the future. Psalm 30:5b

5. If you lost a loved one, remember they are waiting for you in eternity. John 3:16

These are the promises of God from the bible. His promises are sure and they do not fail.

What can I say to someone who is grieving?

It is vital to offer comfort to the grieving, the bible admonishes us to mourn with those who mourn. While trying to comfort someone, we should be careful not to say something harmful or hurtful unintentionally. Here are some things you can say depending on the cause of the grief.

1. “I’m here for you”: Express your availability and willingness to listen, support, and accompany the grieving person through their journey of grief.

2. “I’m praying for you”: Offer to pray for the grieving person, asking for God’s comfort, strength, and peace to surround them during this difficult time.

3. “God loves you”: Remind the grieving person of God’s unconditional love for them, assuring them that they are not alone in their pain and that God cares deeply about their well-being.

4. “God understands your pain”: Share the comforting truth that God empathizes with our suffering, having experienced pain and loss Himself through Jesus Christ.

5. “You are not alone”: Assure the grieving person that they are surrounded by a supportive community of faith and that others are there to walk alongside them through their grief.

6. “God is with you”: Reassure the grieving person of God’s presence with them, offering His comfort, strength, and guidance every step of the way.

7. “There is hope in Christ”: Point the grieving person to the hope found in Jesus Christ, who conquered sin and death, offering the promise of eternal life and eventual restoration of all things.

8. “It’s okay to grieve”: Validate the grieving person’s emotions and assure them that it’s normal and healthy to grieve. Encourage them to express their feelings and lean into the process of mourning.

9. “Lean on your faith”: Encourage the grieving person to draw strength from their faith, turning to prayer, scripture, and the support of their church community for comfort and guidance.

10. “Take one day at a time”: Remind the grieving person to be gentle with themselves and to take each day as it comes, allowing themselves the time and space they need to heal.

11. “Remember the good times”: Encourage the grieving person to cherish and celebrate the memories they shared with their loved one, finding comfort in the joy and love they experienced together.

12. “You are stronger than you know”: Affirm the resilience and strength of the grieving person, reminding them that they have the inner strength and support of God to navigate through their grief journey.

Speaking supportive words can work wonders and they help to instil faith and resilience. You can add more words you think are encouraging in the comment section.

How can a christian find comfort in grief? comfort when grieving
Photo by Liza Summer

Final Thoughts

I lost my dad while I was barely a teenager. I was very hurt and pained by this incident, I struggled to sleep and get myself together. He just came back from a retreat where he went to pray with my mom; I had a lot of questions in my heart, I was angry with God and I felt guilty because he was talking to me when he slumped.

After one or two years, I accepted Christ and I still bore the hurt and the pains in my heart. My life changed after his death; we went from being comfortable to being poor. After accepting Christ, I began to understand some things; it became clearer that God’s love is ever-present and abounding. It’s almost twenty years and I am grateful for how far God has brought me. Do I still have questions? Yes, I do but I am not burdened by the questions.

No words can express how much the world owes to sorrow. Most of the Psalms were born in the wilderness. Most of the Epistles were written in a prison. The greatest thoughts of the greatest thinkers have all passed through fire. The greatest poets have “learned in suffering what they taught in song.” In bonds Bunyan lived the allegory that he afterwards wrote, and we may thank Bedford Jail for the Pilgrim’s Progress. Take comfort, afflicted Christian! When God is about to make pre-eminent use of a person, He puts them in the fire.

 George MacDonald

While grief can be incredibly painful and challenging, it is also a natural and important part of the human experience. It’s essential for individuals who are grieving to seek support from loved ones, friends, or professionals to help them navigate through their grief journey.

Always remember that you are not alone, God is surely beside you and he will guide you through this grief and pain if you allow him. Your grief is not the end of your story. God can grant you comfort when grieving.

A Song to Give you Courage in Grief

I will leave you with a song that I love so much. Draw strength from the words of the song. The song is titled “New Wine” by Hillsong. I hope you find courage and strength because it gives me strength and often bring tears to my eyes.


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