Sunday, December 7, 2014

Steps to Peace in Grief

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe,
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow. 

~Elvina M. Hall, 1865


I don’t know if I've always traveled the best way through grief, but the Lord taught me many things along the journey. I learned more about God, myself, and others, and we have choices to make in how we will react to all of life’s difficulties. The following steps are some choices I made on my own journey. And those choices lead to peace.
Steps to Peace in Grief:
1. Focus on the character of Christ in the gospels.  Seeking to know Him more fully will form us more into His likeness.

2. Look back and grieve—everything that has broken your heart, and ask Christ to reveal Himself to you in those times.

3. Turn to Christ and trust Him with your past, present, and eternity, for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).”

4. Believe that when you are at a disadvantage, you are blessed, because it's a chance to see God come through for you.

5. Be thankful that Christ Jesus has redeemed you—every part of you, past,  present, and future, it all matters to Him.  He is faithful to forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteous thoughts, feelings, or deeds (1 John 1:9).

6. Rest on Christ, the Rock, whose promise of salvation is a free gift. You don't have to be "good enough" to be loved and accepted by God. The Lord Jesus gave His life to rescue us from darkness and bring us into His family.

7. Immerse yourself in worship and sing songs of both lament and praise, which can stir your heart to hope again.

8. Rejoice that because of Christ, our names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20).

9. Live for your Father's smile.

10. Persevere when you feel like giving up. God has a special place, purpose, and work for you to do in His Kingdom.

11. Remember you are precious in the sight of God.

12. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is like a little child.

13. Love others even in your pain.

14. Be confident that the things that overwhelm you are the very things you can trust in the Lord to give you His strength to overcome (2 Corinthians 12:9).

15. Trust in the Lord to protect you from evil. Suffering is a time when you are most vulnerable. (1 Peter 5:8,9)

16. Don't be afraid to ask for help. The Lord works through His people. You don't have to go through grief alone.

17. Longing, seeking, finding, longing…it’s like a cycle that will end when we see Jesus face-to-face. Until then, stay the course.

18. Jesus longs for me even more than I long for Him. He has known me before the creation of the world. He gave His life for me. He’s preparing a place for me, and He’s waiting for me with a love that is higher than the highest mountain, wider than the widest sky, deeper than the deepest ocean, and longer than the longest road.

19. In this world, we have a lot to grieve, mourn, and wail about, but we must long for the day when we can be in the safest place of all—safe in Jesus’ arms. 

20. When you look your greatest hurts straight in the face, turn your eyes upon Jesus.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
~Helen H. Lemmel, 1922