life happens: God the Victor…

God the Victor When I Grieve

Grief is one of the most challenging, and most feared, experiences of life.  We try to avoid grief; yet, it is an integral part to healing.  As someone who has grieved the death of far more friends and family than I care to discuss, I know the depth, the unpredictability, and astonishment that grief brings.  And I understand the fear of grieving.  If you currently reside in the I-can-only-imagine camp right now, you look at the grieving camp and don’t really want to visit there.  I understand that too.

The most surprising thing about grief may very well be the surprising nature of it.  Some people react with outwardly-expressed weeping.  Others nod, and seemingly just move on with the day.  Others still make jokes at seemingly inappropriate times.

Just like most anything else in life, people react differently to grief at different times.

Grief is something we do not understand, even when we are in it.  And that is the difficult thing.  As the griever, sometimes you do not even know what you need in the moment.  Sometimes the cliché-sounding statements are the reminder we need.  Sometimes it spurs anger and heartache.

The consistency in grief is this: God is bigger than the situation.  The key to getting through is endurance.  God is the God of long-suffering endurance.  He knows the heartache of waiting for a prodigal people return to the fold.  He knows the pain of watching a child die.  And He knows the struggle of being hated for no reason by a fickle people.

He knows the pain.  He knows the heartache.  And He knows the strength required to overcome.

 Read Psalm 30:1-12.  What stands out to you?

 

List the characteristics of God highlighted in this passage.

 

In what ways might these characteristics carry you through a time of grief?

 

Review verse 5.  What does this verse say about weeping?

 

What does it say about joy?

 

Does joy “maybe” come in the morning?  Or “possibly” come in the morning?

Weeping “may” endure for a night.  Joy, on the other hand, will come.  Repeat that: Joy will come.  The night of weeping may seem like an eternity, and may very well last for some time.  However, joy will come.  Sometimes the biggest influence in enduring is to remember that there will be an end.  The grief will subside.  Joy will come.

Read the following passages.  What is the promise for those who overcome?

  • Revelation 2:7
  • Revelation 2:10-11
  • Revelation 2:17
  • Revelation 2:26-28
  • Revelation 3:5
  • Revelation 3:11-12
  • Revelation 3:21

What do these promises to the those who overcome mean to you?

These promises can help buoy you through difficult times.  However, a promise is only as good as the One making it.

Returning to Revelation, read the following passages and list the characteristics of the One making the promise to those who overcome.

  • Revelation 2:1
  • Revelation 2:8
  • Revelation 2:12
  • Revelation 2:18
  • Revelation 3:1
  • Revelation 3:7
  • Revelation 3:14

What is God telling you about the character of the One making the promises to those who overcome?

There is yet another element to grief, promises, and the character of the One doing the promising—do they really know what I am experiencing? You may receive a promise from someone with impeccable character, but if they do not know the situation or have never been through it, how can they make such promises?

Review the following passages.  List what the Promise Maker knows:

  • Revelation 2:2-3
  • Revelation 2:9-10
  • Revelation 2:13
  • Revelation 2:19
  • Revelation 3:1
  • Revelation 3:8-10
  • Revelation 3:15

Reviewing what Jesus knows, what is on your mind?

 

What is God asking you to do right now?

Grief can be a seemingly insurmountable burden.  However, He who promises is faithful to fulfill all that He promises.  Lean on Him.

Amen, and amen.

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