Imagine you are drowning. The waves are closing over your head. You manage to break through to the surface, and you see a life preserver in the distance, so you reach out for it desperately.
When you lose a loved one, a relationship, or something else you hold dear, it can feel a lot like drowning. Grief can overtake you until you can barely breathe. We all experience loss eventually, but maybe you feel unprepared to keep going. Bible verses for mourning can be the life preserver in the distance, offering hope to pull you out of despair.
When you experience loss, life can feel dark, chaotic, and painful. Although these feelings are real and valid, none of them reflect a permanent reality, so you need something to hold onto to remind you what is possible and lasting.
5 Scripture Verses for the Loss of a Loved One
Here are five Bible verses about loss that will help you cling to truth in the midst of sorrow.
1. Seeing Mourning as a Blessing
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4
In our modern American culture, we often deny the reality of aging, sickness, and death. We send “thoughts and prayers” and hope the worst doesn’t happen to our loved ones and us. We get fillers and plastic surgery to keep us from aging.
Throughout history and in other cultures in the world today, there have been many traditions surrounding aging and death. Old people would be revered and honored, instead of scorned and pushed to the side. Many traditions and rituals accompany death, and widows and other family members would dress in black for a year, sit shiva for a month, or otherwise set aside a time or action to honor the depth of their loss.
In our culture, we don’t have so many rituals around aging and death, so grief is more individual and private. These words from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount are truly paradoxical and freeing as you mourn the loss of a loved one: Jesus says that when you mourn, you are blessed.
He also says that you are blessed when you are poor in spirit, weak, merciful, persecuted, etc. He is describing a life of humility and brokenness, and how that puts you in touch with God’s kingdom more than feeling rich, prideful, and believing that nothing can harm you.
In Ecclesiastes 7:2, it says, “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting.” Jesus promises abundant life to His followers (John 10:10), but He also wants us to recognize the reality that our time here on earth is short, and eternity is what matters.
When you are going through a time of loss, God can use it to knit your heart more closely to Him and loosen your ties to the temporary things of this world.
2. Trusting that God Knows
Record my misery; list my tears on your scroll – are they not in your record? – Psalm 56:8
In this psalm, David is praying and asks God for a reminder that He sees and even counts his tears. God is not weary of your grief. He sees each tear you cry, even when your heart is aching with loss and loneliness. He is the one who created us with the capacity for love and heartbreak, and He cares about our pain when we lose someone we love.
Sometimes, the most comforting thing is to know that someone sees us. In this Bible verse about loss, we can see that David needs that reassurance. He doesn’t downplay his sadness; he sees it as significant, and he knows God does too.
No matter whether other humans validate us or not, no matter how long it’s been since your loss and how much further you feel you should be in your grieving process by now, God is keeping track of your tears, and He sees you.
3. Resting in God’s Love and Kindness
I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. – Jeremiah 31:3
Let’s take note of the words everlasting and unfailing. God doesn’t just say that He loves us, or that He is kind to us. In this Scripture for loss, He reminds us that His love never ends and that His kindness will never let us down.
When you lose someone you love, it reminds you of how everything in this life is fleeting. Everything you try to hold onto could be taken away from you. But God’s love, which surrounds you like a shield, is not going away. He is safe because He will never leave.
And, He is kind. In the dark days of grief, it can be hard to trust that God’s intentions toward you are good, but He promises that they are (Romans 8:28). His kindness will not fail, which means there is still hope for the future.
Do you know anyone who is unfailingly kind? Most of us probably have someone like that in our lives. Think about that person and how they are always willing to serve you, and how they would never lash out at you.
God’s unfailing kindness is even greater. He is always looking on you with favor because of His Son, and He works everything together for your good.
4. Experiencing God’s Healing
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3
Grief is a lot like bleeding. Something inside you is crushed and broken, and you’re the walking wounded. What’s worse, sometimes your pain is invisible to those around you. Sometimes grief is open and obvious, and other times, it’s complicated and hidden. No matter what kind of sadness you’re experiencing, you are wounded, and God knows that.
Healing takes time. Grief is a process. When you invite God into that process by faith, you’re asking Him to heal your pain. Healing takes time, just as the natural grieving process does. Isn’t God’s tenderness apparent in this Scripture for loss, though? He sees your broken heart and heals it, notices your wounds, and puts bandages on them. He is the God who heals.
5. Hoping in God’s Compassion
For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone. – Lamentations 3:31-33
In another Bible verse about loss, the psalmist says, “In my alarm, I said, ‘I am cut off from your sight!’ Yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help.” (Psalm 31:22)
When you’re walking through a time of loss, it’s normal to feel cut off from other people, and even from God Himself. But this is perception, not reality. God wants us to turn to Him in faith, even when we can’t sense His presence or care for us.
In the passage from Lamentations, this Scripture for loss of a loved one reminds us that God is not casting us off permanently. During times of grief, we might feel that way, but He will still show compassion to us.
Why? Because His love will not fail us. He is not rejoicing in our pain or smiting us for pleasure. He will always remember us and bring us through our darkest times to see His faithfulness again.
Christian Grief Counseling in Santa Monica
When you’re turning to Bible verses for comfort in times of loss, you’re reaching out for that life preserver as you’re drowning. God has provided support in His Word for that very reason.
As you are mourning, you can turn to Scripture verses for the loss of a loved one to remind yourself of the truth of His presence, love, and kindness. If you need help walking through your time of grief, contact a professional Christian counselor today.
“Bible on Table”, Courtesy of Aaron Burden, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Remembering the Past”, Courtesy of Jonatan Becerra, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Alone with the Word”, Courtesy of Priscilla Du Preez, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Sunflower”, Courtesy of Lucas Silva Pinheiro Santos, Unsplash.com, CC0 License