We all suffer loss throughout life. That means grieving is equally part of life just as much as the celebration of victories. Griefing is difficult, painful and takes time. This is why we have such a hard time allowing grief.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
What is the good that comes from losing a loved one, for example?
Loss and grief don’t only come from death. It can also be broken relationships or general disappointment in life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: … 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
What can we learn, what are the benefits of loss and grief?
1. Grief Strengthens Our Soul
God is not only the God of sufferers but also the God who suffers.
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him
Jesus calls us to follow him. That includes loss and grief. He will work through that in our heart and soul. Loss causes me to take a step back and dig deeper.
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?
23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
2. Grief Grows Our Compassion
Moving forward and grief are not mutually exclusive. Grief is a way of moving forward. I can be outward focused and grief at the same time. It allows me to relate and connect to others in new ways that are not possible in the same way, when everything is rosy in my life.
1 Corinthians 1:3-7
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4 I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way–with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge– 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
It is very challenging to think that loss and grief can be beneficial through and because of Christ. The temptation is to gloss over challenges and pain but this is very dangerous and can be highly destructive for our souls.
More from the Together series