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How to Have Hope When You Are Grieving

November 25, 2019
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Someone once said grief is like wearing a cape made of lead. It’s with you all the time, and you can’t take it off. It affects everything you do - the way you move, your ability to laugh, the speed at which you can do tasks - it’s always there, weighing you down.

And just when you think you are getting back to normal, you feel the heaviness again. That seems about right. Grief is the backdrop to every conversation; it’s the shadow you can’t escape from. It sneaks into your best moments and reminds you of how fleeting life really is.

If you’ve ever experienced, or are experiencing, grief like this, then you know the feeling. And if you know the feeling, you know how hard it is to have hope after loss.

Just as grief is like a lead cape you are wearing, finding hope after loss is equally frustrating. Unlike the cape that’s always there, hope is the thing that seems just out of reach. You can see it, you know there are reasons for it, but no matter how far you reach out, you just can’t get there.

How, then, can you have hope when you are grieving?

Lean Into Your Grief

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14

The first thing that sets you on the road to hope when you are grieving is leaning into the grief.

That means allowing yourself to really feel, express, and process the depth of your loss. Notice in the verses above that Paul doesn’t say grief is wrong - not at all. He doesn’t say that we shouldn’t grieve - he says that we should grieve differently.

Real hope is not the opposite of grief. In fact, this is one of the differences about Christians. It’s not that we don’t grieve, it’s that we experience grief with hope.

When we experience loss, we don’t try to talk ourselves out of feeling the full weight of that loss. Our hope comes from knowing that there is more than this life alone. Jesus will wipe away every tear someday, so despite how painful our circumstances might be, God is still in control and loves us immeasurably.

That’s how we can lean into grief, but do so with hope. Our hope is found in something bigger and more substantial than our circumstances.

Related Post: 7 Bible Verses for When You Feel Alone

Fuel Hope With Truth

When we acknowledge the real depth of our grief, we can also start to find hope through the truth of God’s Word. Though we acknowledge everything we are feeling, and acknowledge those feelings of grief and sadness are real, we can also acknowledge the truth we find in Scripture.

We can know, for example, that:

  • God works all things together for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28)
  • Nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:39)
  • Even though we live in a broken world and will always experience grief, someday all creation will be liberated from its present state and all will be well (Romans 8:21)

Though it doesn’t happen all at once, we can find hope in grief when we feed ourselves a steady diet of God’s Word, reminding ourselves what is still true, even in the midst of our sadness.

Hope When You Are Grieving Comes With Time

Grief has also been described as a box with a large ball inside of it. Every time you move the box, the ball hits the side. That’s what grief feels like. Every time we laugh, talk, or even breathe, this ball rolls around inside of us, and every time it hits a side it hurts.

But over time, the ball gets a bit smaller. The pain is still there, but we don’t experience it quite like we once did.

There are really two tools that God uses to help us find hope after loss, whatever that loss may be: Truth, and time. When those two are applied together, we find that ball of pain getting more and more bearable.

If you are walking through a season of grief right now, don’t give up. There can still be hope. We can find that hope by acknowledging the reality of grief, and then applying truth to our hearts.

Related Post: Where is God When I'm Hurting?


If you have experienced loss, you are not alone. Don't give up. You can still have hope when you are grieving.

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