How to Function in Christ after Losing of a Loved one, dealing with anxiety and depression.
There is no greater pain in this life than the pain of tragically losing someone we love. If you’ve lost a loved one, you may be dealing with grief, anxiety, or depression as you struggle to cope with this monumental loss.
While grief is an expected response to a significant loss, the unfamiliar emotions that arise can lead to feelings of helplessness, fear, and loneliness. “Where is God?” “How will I get through this? “What happens now?” You might be wondering how to move forward with your life.
Dispelling the myths about grieving the loss of a loved one.
Myth: People who are grieving don’t want to talk about their loss and bringing up the name of the deceased should be avoided.
TRUTH: Don’t be afraid to talk about the deceased or mention his/her name as it is probable that the bereaved person will want to talk about it.
Myth: Keep the bereaved person busy in order to avoid them thinking about the deceased.
TRUTH: If the bereaved person is kept too busy, the grieving process could be delayed. They need to have a healthy balance of alone time and time with people who can support them.
Myth: The grieving period is lasting too long, and the person should be over it by now.
TRUTH: The grieving process is individual to each person and dependent on many things. These may include the type of relationship with the deceased together with the level of support available to the bereaved. Other stressors in the person’s life may also hinder the grieving process.
Myth: The bereaved person appears to be OK, so I will avoid any mention of their loss when I see them.
TRUTH: Some people feel extremely uncomfortable mentioning death or even being around people who are grieving. It is not only important to keep in contact with the bereaved, but to acknowledge the loss.
Questions like these often arise in our thoughts as we process the emotional pain of the death of a loved one. But there is hope for dealing with grief and loss for the Christian, as we find rest in the Hope of Glory Jesus Christ. He is our source of comfort in time of need. For many, though, they struggle with understanding how to process this new chapter in the journey of life.
Grieving the death of a loved one should never be processed alone. Yes, family and friends are important during times of loss but…More than ever before our union in Christ allows us to process the initial feels of numbness and disorientation. It is Christ that enables us to work through our anxious feels and troubled sleep. He is the One who will comfort us when sudden outbursts of tears overwhelm us, triggered by memories or reminders of the loved one. Feeling emotional lose is normal, acceptable, and healthy. It is Christ who help you to deal with your anger.
The “five-stages of grief,” including the “acceptance stage,” apply to Christians just as they apply to everyone else. If you have recently lost someone close to you, have no doubt experienced some Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. God never said we would be exempt from pain and suffering. In fact, it’s an inevitable part of the human experience. By design, God gave us the ability to make our own choices which requires consequences for our actions. With the freedom to choose comes the potential for suffering from random chance events as well as the actions of others and of course the death of a loved one.
How are we choosing to deal with the pain and loss? God does not delight to see us in pain or suffering, but it is a part of how we will experience life on earth. God can use an unfortunate event to benefit us and others. The loss of a loved one can help bring you closer to God. However, we also need to understand that God is not the cause of the pain or suffering we are experiencing. It’s a part of the human experience, but not necessarily His doing.
Understand that God is always there with you through the pain. We can be sure, that He is “with us always” (Matt. 28:20), “For He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” (Heb. 13:5). Many people try to avoid pain by bottling up their emotions or rejecting the feelings they are having. They may avoid places and circumstances that remind them of their loved one. They may try to take shortcuts through the grieving process, not admitting to the feelings of anger or denial that usually exist. However, the only way to move through grief is to move through it. We can do this by pressing into God. We can help understand the pain we feel by turning to God in prayer, meditating on His word, and speaking with other trusted Christians about our experience. An awareness of Christ’s presence in us during these times is of utmost importance.
Psalm 34:18: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 55:22: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
The pain we feel from the loss of a loved one might be hard to understand, but as Christians we have hope beyond the grave. By working through our grief with God, and understanding that the pain we feel is normal, we may allow God to bring inner healing.
As the Psalmist declared of God in Psalm 147:3, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
We might say that pain and brokenness have purpose. While our natural reaction to pain is to avoid it, get rid of it, or numb it; we need to realize that God allows pain. In fact, our suffering is a sign of God’s love and grace. James says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).
We are to “persevere in tribulation” (Rom. 12:12). To the Corinthians, Paul writes of “enduring the sufferings being burdened excessively so that we despaired even of life that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead on whom we have set our hope” (II Cor. 1:6-10).
As we rely on God’s grace through the suffering and pain of life, we discover that we are not hopeless pawns but rather participants with Him. It is through the bigger picture of the difficulties of life that we experience intimacy with God working for our intended good. (Romans 8:28) Pain is an opportunity not for God to see how strong you are, but for you to see how strong He is. For you to learn to derive from Him, in your time of need. He is inviting you to enter into Deep Relationship – Through Trusting, Christ!
As with everything in our Christian lives, we must begin with God. God is good – and because He is Love, He is trustworthy. Apart from this absolute, we have no foundation on which to stand. He must be our life, our center, the core of who we are to face suffering as He intended. As Jesus said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” Again, He said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life, and have it more abundantly.” Jesus promised us in John 16:33 “In this world you will have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world.” This is a hard truth – that pain is God’s opportunity. It is a beautiful truth even though it is a hard lesson to learn.
What about healing?
God’s primary purpose when it comes to healing is to heal that which hinders us from experiencing Him in relational intimacy. He wants to heal the wounds that are inside of us, in our soul; Wounds that often hinder us from experiencing relational intimacy with Him. Something has come between us and Him and He wants to heal that which is separating us from Him. He uses everything, even those things we would not consider to be – for our good even that which is evil. He is not the author of evil, nor does He cause evil, but nonetheless He will use all things for His glory.
We often struggle with the problem of pain in this world because there is no easy answer that will take away our pain. God is bigger than – what we are struggling with and wants us to relationally trust Him in all things, not simply by fixing it or taking it away, but allowing us the time to discover His loving goodness even in our darkest most painful moments of life.
God’s remedy for our pain is not often in answers to our questions or solutions to our problems. It is much better! It is an invitation for us to experience a deep relationship of trust with Him. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord And whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought Nor cease to yield fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
It might be said that “Pain gives you what happiness never could.” Pain reveals God’s availability and sufficiency. In the Gospel of John when Lazarus falls ill, Jesus does not immediately come to his rescue. In fact, He allows Lazarus to suffer and die from his sickness. Lazarus’ family, including Mary and Martha, were heartbroken over their loss. So, why does Jesus allow—even orchestrate—all this suffering?
He tells us, “It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
God allows suffering to bring Himself glory. We certainly haven’t answered all the questions related to the topic of pain and suffering in this short discourse, but it you were listening carefully, that was not our purpose, but rather to shed light on the subject.
The brevity of life which is heightened through pain and suffering reveals the eternality of Christ as our life. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus explained that life and resurrection were inherent within Himself, personally and in His presence.
Jesus is life (John 14:6) in Himself (John 5:25), and to receive Him is to have eternal life (John 3:16,36). Eternal life is not an event, experience, or benefit, nor is it an entity, commodity or possession that is acquired. Jesus is resurrection-life, and such is the reality of Christianity which He came to bring in Himself.
As Paul states in 2 Cor. 4:17-18, “This slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” This verse pinpoints God’s purpose and our responsibility in this most important discussion.
Peter writes, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:12-13)
May our pray be as Paul’s wrote to the Philippian church, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” (Philippians 3:10-11)
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Philippians 3:7-8 “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”
Let us pray:
“O Lord, you are the Father of all mercy and the God of all comfort. You yourself have suffered the death of your only Son. If you did not spare your own Son but gave him up for us all, as the Scripture says, how will you not also with Him graciously give us all things?
The scriptures declare that You will comfort us in our affliction.
Lord, we chose to receive your promise of comfort – not that we would no longer grieve or no longer miss our loved one, but that in our sorrow we would be comforted by You acknowledging Your Grace is sufficient.
Thank you for Your love and comfort. Our hope is in You. We welcome your loving embrace and as You wrap Your loving arms around us right now. Hold us tight Lord. We need you and we trust you. We choose to walk in the abundance of Your grace, love, and comfort that you provide us now and forever. In Jesus Name. Amen
Living the Victorious Life
Living the Victorious Life
Living the Victorious Life
Living the Victorious Life