Some Words to Encourage

Written by Scott Harp on . Posted in Pulpit Minster

depressionDeath has such a hold on the hearts of individuals, especially those who are closest to it. It shocks the mind. Being that it is so severe, so final, and so life changing for those left behind, the loss of a loved one is going to take its toll on those closest to them. Get help! Having someone to talk with helps to endure the effect of the transition that has sharply blind-sided one's life.
The tendency often is that of refusing the help being offered. Some take the "matter-of-fact" approach, seeking to compartmentalize the hurt, and move on with life. However, not dealing with pain and suffering when it comes—and oh brother, does it come—will cause a residual effect over the years of one's life. This we sometimes refer to as baggage.
Grief has a way to come at a person in a number of different ways over a long period of time. Feelings of guilt sometimes arise when people closest to the event question whether something could have been said or done differently to affect a different outcome. This is normal. Also, periods of anxiety can arise at times. Uncontrolled crying can sometimes be experienced. Often, there can be moments when reality strikes, as you realize minutes or even hours have passed without notice. Blank staring into oblivion, and lack of focus, are a part of the grief process. It is easy to think that the "stages of grief," as they are sometimes called, are things that will happen in sequence over a long period of time. However, some may experience all the stages of grief in a single day.
How long does grief last? For different people it lasts different lengths of time. Months can turn into years, very rapidly, in the healing process. There are some things about losses that will never change. The death of a loved one, a special friend, or as in this instance a personal mentor, is not something you ever get over, nor should you try. Did you hear that? Death is not something one gets over, or simply dismisses from the mind. It is not something one snaps out of, or quickly transitions from back to normalcy.
There are ways to deal with it. For one thing, if you are grieving, it can be helpful to know that you are not crazy, or feel that you have lost your mind. Grief is normal! It is a natural effect to unexpected life changes. Another thing is to know there are people around you who want to help. But, so often people do not know how or in what way to do so. You can help others help you by simply surrounding yourself with them, by letting them into your world. Doing things with your friends will help. Sharing emotions with them can be a great blessing during your efforts to endure sorrow. Whether crying on their shoulders, or laughing at their silly jokes, connecting with people has healing power! Another thing that can help is to understand the healing ability of time. Time has a wonderful way to etch away at the raw-ness, the open wound of affliction, and the intensity of the pain that goes along with loss. For some it may take months, and for others it may take years; time can do wonders to help bring those who are hurting to a point where they can move on with life.
One of the greatest healers of grief is allowing yourself to be an encourager in the healing of someone else's hurt. This may be one of the most difficult steps one will take in overcoming heartache, especially when you are embroiled in the sorrow of your own. The cure for any struggle in life will involve struggle.
The greatest help to overcome grief is found in getting to know and embracing Jesus. The Jesus of the Bible is a living Savior, a living Spirit who is in the world today. One of His biographers, Matthew, referred to a prophecy made about Jesus, over seven hundred years before, by the prophet Isaiah. The occasion was when Jesus had healed the mother-in-law of the apostle Peter. After this the Bible said, "That evening they brought to Him many who were oppressed by demons, and He cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: 'He took our illnesses and bore our diseases,'" Matthew 8:16,17. The passage Matthew referred to was from Isaiah 53:4, the first part of which says, "Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. . ." This passage is widely assumed to be referring to the work Jesus would do in providing salvation for the world through His death, burial, and resurrection. However, Matthew seems to have applied it to something entirely different. The "illness"/"grief" taking, and "disease"/"sorrows" carrying is something Jesus did in His ministry. Jesus helped people who were going through hard times. When He saw the hardship of people He was overtaken with compassion and sought to do what He could to help them in their times of heartache.
Did you know that the major role of a priest is to help people with their troubles? Hear these words, "Since then we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need," Hebrews 4:14-16.
Do you need help during your sorrow? Find Jesus! He is near! He seeks to not only assist you, but to clothe you in His goodness and mercy. Belief in Him has the potential of reward, Hebrews 11:6; John 8:24. A change in thinking, and the old way of life through godly sorrow, can lead you to a better place in life, Luke 13:3,5; Acts 2:38. Full immersion in water, by faith in the operation of God to take sins away, is a rejuvenator of life, and the way in which Christ has revealed that He will clothe you with Himself, Galatians 3:26,27; 1 Peter 3:21. A new relationship with Jesus can go a long way in healing you of your heart's greatest challenges. One New Testament writer said, "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up," James 4:10.
Jesus loves me, this I know;
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak, but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.

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