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Grieving with Hope

 


​​​​​​​Featured Verse:

Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,  for You are with me;  Your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil;  my cup overflows. Surely Your goodness and love  will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 

 


Example Verses:

Psalm 23
Psalm 34:18
John 1:1-4
Isaiah 41:10
Revelation 21:4



Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain u the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines.  On this mountain he will destroy the shroud  that enfolds all peoples,  the sheet that covers all nations;  he will swallow up death forever. 

Here is a marvelous prophecy of “all peoples”—Gentiles and Jews together—at God’s messianic feast, celebrating the overthrow of evil and the joy of eternity with God. It shows that God intended his saving message to go out to the whole world, not just to the Jews. During the feast, God will end death forever ( 25:7-8 ). The people who participate in this great feast will be those who have been living by faith. That is why they say, “Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us” ( 25:9 ). See also chapter 55 for another presentation of this great banquet. 25:8  When the Lord speaks, he does what he says. It is comforting to know that God’s plans and activities are closely tied to his word. When we pray according to God’s will (as expressed in the Bible) and claim his promises (as recorded in the Bible), he hears us and answers our requests.

Part of this verse is quoted in 1 Corinthians 15:54 to describe Christ’s victory over death. God’s ultimate victory is seen when death, our ultimate enemy, is defeated (see also Hosea 13:14 ). Another part of this verse is quoted in Revelation 21:4 , which describes the glorious scene of God’s presence with his people.  

Tyndale House Publishers. Life Application Study Bible, NIV 


Romans 8:38-39

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. These verses contain one of the most comforting promises in all Scripture. Believers have always had to face hardships in many forms: persecution, illness, imprisonment, and even death. These sometimes cause them to fear that they have been abandoned by Christ. But Paul exclaims that it is impossible to be separated from Christ. His death for us is proof of his unconquerable love. Nothing can separate us from Christ’s constant presence with us. God tells us how great his love is so that we will feel totally secure in him. If we believe these overwhelming assurances, we will not be afraid.

Tyndale House Publishers. Life Application Study Bible, NIV 


Bread for the Journey: The Companionship of the Dead, Henri Nouwen
As we grow older we have more and more people to remember, people who have died before us. It is very important to remember those who have loved us and those we have loved. Remembering them means letting their spirits inspire us in our daily lives. They can become part of our spiritual communities and gently help us as we make decisions on our journeys. Parents, spouses, children, and friends can become true spiritual companions after they have died. Sometimes they can become even more intimate to us after death than when they were with us in life. Remembering the dead is choosing their ongoing companionship. Henri Nouwen


Bread for the Journey:  Remembering the Dead, Henri Nouwen
When we lose a dear friend, someone we have loved deeply, we are left with a grief that can paralyze us emotionally for a long time. People we love become part of us. Our thinking, feeling and acting are codetermined by them: Our fathers, our mothers, our husbands, our wives, our lovers, our children, our friends … they are all living in our hearts. When they die a part of us has to die too. That is what grief is about: It is that slow and painful departure of someone who has become an intimate part of us. When Christmas, the new year, a birthday or anniversary comes, we feel deeply the absence of our beloved companion. We sometimes have to live at least a whole year before our hearts have fully said good-bye and the pain of our grief recedes. But as we let go of them they become part of our “members” and as we “re-member” them, they become our guides on our spiritual journey. Henri Nouwen

 

Bread for the Journey: Enough Light for the Next Step, Henri Nouwen
Often we want to be able to see into the future. We say, "How will next year be for me? Where will I be five or ten years from now?" There are no answers to these questions. Mostly we have just enough light to see the next step: what we have to do in the coming hour or the following day. The art of living is to enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark. When we are able to take the next step with the trust that we will have enough light for the step that follows, we can walk through life with joy and be surprised at how far we go. Let's rejoice in the little light we carry and not ask for the great beam that would take all shadows away. Henri Nouwen
 

 

A Parable of Immortality By Henry Van Dyke
I am standing upon the seashore.
A ship, at my side, spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
Just where the sea and the sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone says, “There she goes!”
Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all.
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side
And just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
And just at the moment when someone at my side says, “There she goes”
There are other eyes watching her coming
And their voices ready to take up the glad shouts,
“Here she comes!”





All footnote credits go to: Life Application Bible