Have you ever lost someone or something you really loved and valued? I suspect you have, and thus I suspect you have experienced this small but cutting word: grief. Grief can be defined as deep sorrow due to loss. And I once heard a wise preacher say that grief is a global guarantee. None of us will make it through this life without feeling its sting.
Perhaps you have lost a loved one due to a physical death—a parent, a sibling, a child, or a friend, and you grieve.
Perhaps you have lost a loved one due to divorce, abandonment, or fracturing of the relationship, and you grieve.
Perhaps you lost innocence and security as a child due to sexual, physical, or verbal abuse, and you grieve.
Perhaps you lost confidence as a child due to bullying, neglect, or overall dysfunction, and you grieve.
Perhaps you have lost intimacy in a close relationship due to betrayal, and you grieve.
Or perhaps you have lost a dream—a deep desire of your heart that will not come to pass in your lifetime—and you grieve.
We all grieve.
And in the face of grief, some people become hopeless. But for those of us in God’s family, we have a different option.
Our hope is not rooted in people or circumstances. Rather, it is rooted in something—or better yet, Someone—who is much more secure. The Apostle Peter said it this way:
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.
This inheritance is kept in Heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. (1 Peter 1:3-6)
Did you catch that? As children of God, our hope is rooted in Jesus. And since Jesus lives, our hope lives. No matter who or what has died in your life, Jesus lives.
Now, my friend, this revelation is life-giving and encouraging, but it will not erase all of our pain. Grieving with hope in Jesus still hurts. But although our heavenly Father may allow us to descend into some dark places of the soul, He will never leave us there alone. Indeed, even the darkness is as light to Him (Psalm 139:12).
So we can truly lean into our grief. We can mourn, process, and cry every tear. But our tears do not get the last word. Jesus does. And it is for this reason that “we do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
Our hope is a person, and His name is Jesus. He lives, and thus our hope lives. Our losses and grief in this life are formidable foes, but they are no match for our Jesus and the living hope we have in Him.
Leah Holder Green
Leah Holder Green loves God, loves His people, and loves clearly communicating God’s Word to His people. After practicing law for a few years, she entered full-time ministry as a bible study author and bible teacher. Leah is married to the love of her life, Clarence “Champ” Green, and they have a beautiful daughter named Caylen Joy.
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