The lost a love one can be one of the greatest stressor anyone can experience in their life. Below are some Biblical truths that Christian counsellors can convey to help their clients during their time of grieving.
Here are some truths that the griever should know:
#1. Death is not caused by God and neither is it caused by you.
Most grievers feel a whole lot worse when they start blaming themselves for the death of their loved ones. What I show the grieving is that unless they are the ones who actually murdered the one who passed away, this belief of “it is my fault” is totally unfounded. Who are they to say that they have the power of life and death over anybody? The problem with us human beings is that we think we hold tremendous power over others. How much pride does it take to believe that we are actually responsible for the death of another person? No, we are not that powerful.
Another variable that pulls people back from recovery is their belief that God is punishing them. We should convey to our grieving clients that God is not the one responsible for all the diseases, accidents, and even death. I had a certain man come up to me before and accused God of causing all the miseries of man. Well, I just threw him back a question: “Why blame God? Why don’t you blame the devil?” Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, and Jesus Christ never harmed anyone! In fact, everyone He touched came back to life! I’m always amused with people who blame the air-conditioning for the heat and not blame the weather.
Just as what I keep saying: death and suffering only proves that the devil is real and very busy. God planned the world to be perfect and God created the world good. It was Adam who rebelled against God and it is the devil who STEALS, KILLS, and DESTROYS (John 10:10).
Message to the grieving: Know that it is not your fault and that death comes as a curse because of Adam’s sin. Stop beating yourself up and stop blaming yourself; especially for something that is totally beyond your control.
#2. Jesus is with you.
One key belief that drives people to loneliness and eventually to deeper forms of depression during grieving is the thought that they are all alone now. ‘There is no one who understands my pain and my lost’ is the voice that runs in their minds.
The counsellor’s job is to convey the truth that God is with them and He knows what they are going through. I believe that Jesus Christ is even weeping with the griever as we speak. The shortest verse in The Bible shows how seriously our Saviour reacts when someone dies: “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) and He is the same today as He was before and forever.
Message to the griever: Know that you are not alone in this hostile world. Jesus is not just with you, He is there weeping with you for your loss.
#3. Cliche: “Your love one is in a better place now”
As monotonous and automatic as this may sound, it is still very very true. Although people without any Biblical knowledge use this line loosely (lowering it to a cliche’), it still doesn’t erase the fact that it is a Biblical truth.
A huge part of the griever’s anxiety and guilt comes from the thinking that the departed is suffering for all eternity. People need the assurance that the parted away is not somewhere suffering in a cave suffocating from the stench of sulfur and brimstone. Some grievers even imagine their departed love ones are being tortured by the devil himself! Now who wouldn’t be grieved by these thoughts?
Let me tell you straight out that this is an IMPOSSIBILITY to the ones who are in Jesus Christ. For EVERYONE who calls in the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13).
The grieving has to know that their departed love is in a real place called Heaven, which is unimaginably better than where we are housed right now. Heaven is a real place and moreover, the loved one is with Jesus, which according to Paul is far greater than anything in this world.
Message to the grieving: Your loved one in Christ is not suffering. He or she is with Jesus partying with all the other Saints in a place called Heaven where there is no sorrow (Revelations 21:4)
#4. You will see your loved one again
When my grandfather passed away in 2004, I was verily distressed because I heard from some teaching that I will never see him again. “Yes, we can see each other in heaven BUT we will not recognize each other anymore nor will we have any memory of our earthly life.” What a load of nonsense; I wish I still remember where I heard that so I can burn down that place of false teachings.
The Bible clearly shows that we still possess our earthly identities in Heaven. During the Mount of Transfiguration Moses appeared as Moses and Elijah appeared as Elijah (Luke 9:28-36). In another instance, there was a wicked man who ended up in hell, and yet he still had memories and consciousness of his brothers living on earth (Luke 16:19-31). He even begged Abraham to give a warning to his brothers. The point here is that we don’t simply pass away from this world to be some random angel or spirit in heaven.
The grieving should know that they will most certainly see your loved ones again. In 2 Samuel 12:23, we see here king David grieving for his dead son. David knew he will see his son again that’s why he said: “I will go to him”. What David meant was that he will see his son again when he dies and enters heaven.
Message to the grieving: Your love for each other is not wasted, it is cherished throughout eternity and you will once again see your loved one.
#5. The Lord will restore whatever you have lost.
I once counselled a woman who just lost her husband. In the course of counselling, something interesting happened: her pain for the lost of her husband suddenly switched into anger for the person. She somehow perceived the unfairness of her predicament that she was suffering here alone on earth while the husband is spending his eternity ‘partying in heaven’ (I guess I should stop using that line while consoling the grieving).
I believe what she was saying is that the everyone gained through her husband’s death except her. The saints in heaven are all rejoicing, the dead husband is now with Jesus, but she is now left behind with all the problems in life.
“I will repay you for the years that the locust has eaten.”
What she cannot see then, was that God is a God of Restoration. And if He has taken away something or someone from us, rest assured that our troubles and loss will be restored in full.
On the story of Job, he got double portion of everything that was taken away from him. Throughout the book of Job, Job lost everything including his family, his children, his possessions and even his health.
Message to the griever: Jesus Christ is the God of restoration. HE WILL PAY YOU BACK and when He does, like Job, He will restore to you double portion and of double quality. You think you are suffering right now? You are not suffering for nothing, wait until The Lord Almighty restores you!
Like how the apostle Paul put it: “To die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Being in Christ is a win-win situation. We live as to Him, enjoying the free gifts and when we die, we enter paradise with Him.
Knowing these truths will greatly help the grieving. Yes, death and losing someone is a painful experience but that doesn’t change the truth the Jesus Christ loves you very much and He still has everything under control for you and your love ones.
God bless you, in the name of Jesus Christ.