In a Season of Loss, Release Your Grief
“Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8 NLT).
Tragedy always produces strong emotions—anger, fear, depression, worry, and sometimes guilt. These feelings can scare us, and we often don’t know what to do with them. When we have experienced a major loss, these enormous feelings bubble up within us. If we don’t deal with them now, it will take us far longer to recover.
Some people never directly deal with grief in life. They stuff it. They push it down. They pretend it’s not there. They act like it doesn’t exist. And that’s why they’re still struggling with emotional stress from losses that occurred 20 or 30 years earlier.
There’s a myth that says God wants you to walk around with a smile on your face all the time saying, “Praise the Lord!” The Bible doesn’t say that anywhere.
In fact, Jesus taught the exact opposite. In Matthew 5:4, he says, “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (NLT). It’s okay to grieve. When people are Christians, we know they will go on to heaven when they die, so we need not grieve like the world. Our grief after a loss can be different. We grieve because we’re going to miss them, but we can also be at peace because we know they are with God.
What do you do with your feelings? You don’t repress them or stuff them deep inside you. You release them—you give them to God. You cry out, “God, I’m hurt! I’m grieving! This is a tough one to take.” If you want a good example of this, read through the book of Psalms, where many times David spills his guts and says, “God, I’m in a tough time right now. I am really, really hurting.” You cry out to God, just like David did.
If you are going through a loss right now, please understand that if you don’t release your grief, it will pour out eventually. Feelings that are pushed down fester, and eventually they explode in a much worse situation.
Release your grief first so that God can begin to heal your heart.
Talk It Over
What are some misconceptions in our society that keep us from being comfortable with releasing our grief?
What grief or loss in your life have you struggled to deal with? How has it affected you?
How can the church hurt or help someone who is grieving? How can you help encourage transparency in your small group or church?
This devotional © 2019 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.