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GOOD GRIEF?

 

When I think of the word grief I normally do not associate it with the word good.  In fact putting those two words together is what one might call an oxymoron.  You know like “girly man” from that movie Renaissance Man with Danny Devito.  But what if I approached it from a Biblical perspective?  Can grief work for my good?


 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


Does Romans 8:28 apply in my life even when I am grieving about something? 


Let me digress here a moment.  One can grieve over many things. Of course, the loss of a loved one is the one most people associate with grief, however there are other reasons we grieve.  Broken relationships (betrayal), loss of a home (foreclosure), loss of a job (retirement or layoff), infertility, chronic pain, rebellious children, and even the loss of a life-long dream—just to name a few-- can cause us to grieve.  


There were many people in the Bible who grieved over the loss of a loved one.  David grieved Jonathon, Naomi grieved the loss of her husband and her two sons, Jesus grieved Lazarus.  And others who grieved for various other reasons:


1 Chron. 4:10 Jabez cried out to God seeking blessings so he would not grieve:

"And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me!"


1 Samuel 1:16 Hanna grieved over infertility


“Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.


The Bible tells us over and over how God was grieved by mankind going all the way back to Genesis 6:6:


“The LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.


How does God work grief together for our good then? I think we need to keep it in perspective and realize when we suffer a loss, grief is the natural response.  While going through losing our home of 30 years to the foreclosure process, a dear friend told me I needed to allow myself to grieve this loss.  At first I thought it sort of silly however I realize my response was a prideful one.  As I begin to move our belongings to a rental house, I am grieving.  There are many precious memories in the old house.  It is the longest I have ever lived anywhere in my 55 year lifetime.  The plan all along was to sell the old house and use the money to retire into a smaller place either by the beach or in the mountains.  I have lost both my home and my dreams.  So yes, I have given myself permission to grieve.  Thank you friend for that wise counsel. (You know who you are J


There is a purpose in grieving. For me, it is leaving the old and moving towards the new.  The rental house is a resting place for me for now.  A chance for me to pray and ask God to help me see the good in all that has transpired over the last five years.  It has been a battle and I am bruised but not broken.  While yes I am sad, I know if I will allow myself the time to grieve, and sometimes it comes in stages where I can be euphoric one minute and deeply saddened the next, and then I am reminded “this too will pass”.   


God is His wonderful mercy will never place on us more than we can bear. God is always faithful.  He has promised to never leave me or forsake me. I come into His presence and He holds me. He wipes the tears from my eyes but I like to think He also captures the praises from my lips to Him too.  He is my hope in times of trouble and sorrow as well as times of peace and prosperity.   He knows my future and I know He loves me.  He gave the most precious gift of all to me, His one and only Son. So that I might live eternally in heaven with Him.  I know He must have grieved for His Son. That is grief that works for good, isn’t it?


God works this grief for my good because it is in these times when I seek Him the most.  It is in these times He brings friends to walk along beside me, to pray with me and to counsel with me.  He works it for my good because I begin to realize He has plans for me I am not able to grasp; plans for a future and a hope. To prosper me and help me grow closer to Him. 


Perhaps you are experience grief in your life right now?  I don’t know what grief you are going but if you are reading this I can tell you we have hope in Jesus Christ.  He carried our sins and can surely carry our grief. He is able to do more than we could ever think to ask.   He can, and if you will allow Him to, will use this grief to work for good in your life.  In my situation, at my and my husbands ages, we will never recover from this financial setback, YET I can honestly write these words to you because I believe them now more than ever:


And  I KNOW that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (word change and emphasis are mine.)


Always loving our Lord,


Lori Robbins

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