”Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4 NIV
Thoughts for Today
Christians wanting to minister to those who have suffered loss by death need to present themselves as authentic, caring individuals who have resolved the issues of dying so they can live in the here and now honestly with an eternal perspective. This requires coming to grips with one’s own mortality so as to be confident of the path to immortality. … To be able to honestly say, “I fear no evil” when confronting death.
Make it a habit to think about death and dying occasionally. It is important to have a workable theology of death and eternal life before trying to help someone who is confronting death in their family. We need to grasp the truth that we are visitors on this earth (Hebrews 11:13, 1 Peter 2:11) … that Jesus has prepared a perfect place for us (Hebrews 11:16) … that through Jesus death has been swallowed up in victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-57) … and that He has promised eternal life to those who follow Him (John 3:16, Romans 6:23).
As you grow in your understanding of these truths, and they become a part of who you are, God can use you more fully to minister to people who are facing death or who have lost a loved one. Not by preaching at them or giving them a reading list of scriptures. But by living out the peace and calm brought about by your understanding and perspective. And, if the Holy Spirit leads that way, by sharing your hope with them through words and through the scriptures.
Lord, thank you that I don’t have to fear death. Thank you that I am just a visitor on this earth and that someday I will be home with you. May the peace that you’ve given me somehow be used to help others who are dealing with the death of a loved one or facing death themselves. In Jesus’ name …
These thoughts were drawn from…
Handling Loss and Grief by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This group study helps identify what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. To grieve is human; how to grieve Christianly is supernatural. It requires us to invite the Holy Spirit to guide us through the grieving process. This booklet also provides guidance in the use of Scripture to help the grieving. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss and comfort to those who have faced loss. This guide also provides help for anyone ministering to those experiencing a "little death" in life: divorce, loss of job, etc.
Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.
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