In our last article, “Overcoming Grief – The Introduction,” we started a discussion about grief and why it’s such an important topic to understand and tackle head on. I shared with you a time in my life when the grief was so severe that it not only led to a deep depression, but also to the return of unwanted symptoms in my body.

In this article, I’m going to begin sharing with you what Father taught me that enabled me to overcome the grief that was consuming me. What He showed me involves a two-step process: What you need to know and what you need to do. Today, we’ll dive into step one:

The Four Things You Need to Know

1. You are never alone.

When I reached the point of such deep grief that I cracked, I realized that no one could help me but God. When I finally sat down with Father and asked Him for help, I will admit that I was not only grieving, but I was also a little miffed with Him. Maybe even indignant. I truly felt that I had been treated unfairly because of everything I had given up, everything I had lost, and I was throwing myself a little pity-party.

As I sat there, angry with God, there was a thought I was allowing to occupy space in my mind that will sound really stupid to you – because it was – but it was very real to me at the time. As I grieved the loss of my vision and purpose, and the ever-present, all-consuming loss of my two fur babies, this thought screamed in my head:

How could God ask me to give them up? He never loved a pet the way I love Maggie and Fritz, so He can’t possibly understand what I’m going through. He’s never had to give up His dreams. He can’t possibly understand the pain I’m feeling from this sacrifice.

I know that sounds ridiculous, but remember this: When you’re in the midst of grief and pain, you are a prime target for the enemy to sneak in and plant a thought seed that has the potential to separate you from the One who wants to comfort you the most. The enemy knows that Father has the answers to help you get through it, and he’ll do whatever he can to prevent that from happening.

That super-ridiculous thought from the enemy was creating what felt like a distance between me and Father. I also didn’t talk to those around me because I didn’t think they could relate to, nor understand, my circumstances. I felt very alone and isolated.

If the enemy can isolate you by getting you to believe that no one else understands, that there is no one who can help you through it, then he can keep you in bondage to grief. He wants you to believe that you’re the only one in the whole world that feels the way you do. The truth is, you are never alone. 

Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.
John 16:32

Jesus was facing the most horrific death any person could face, and He knew that He was going to be betrayed and that every one of His disciples would abandon Him to save their own skins. These were men He had stood beside for three-and-a-half years of ministry. They were men He had loved and poured His heart and soul into. They were men who He was going to suffer and die for. And He knew they were going to leave Him.

If anyone had a reason to feel alone, it was Jesus. On the surface, it looked like everyone had abandoned Him. But He knew the truth. He knew that the Father was with Him. Hebrews 13:5 says that God will never leave you nor forsake you, and the following passages reveal that you are always on His mind and that there is nowhere you can go from His presence:

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

Psalm 139:7-10

How precious to me are your thoughts God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.

Psalm 139:17-18

As you think on these truths, you will see that even if you don’t have a single person in the natural, you have Someone even better. The One you have is always thinking of you and is always with you. You are never alone.

2. The enemy is a liar.

When you are grieving, you are prone to deception, so a big hurdle in overcoming grief is recognizing and rejecting the lies of the enemy. You may be bombarded with thoughts that are overwhelming and confusing. Racing thoughts may have you feeling exhausted. You may not know if the thoughts are yours or the enemy’s, but there is a sure way to get them under control. 

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Hebrews 4:12

God’s Word will help you sort out those frenzied thoughts. It will show you what is truth and what is a lie. Only the extreme sharpness of God’s Word can separate between soul and spirit, which means that it can distinguish between your thoughts and feelings (soul) and the thoughts in your born-again spirit that are of God.

The very-ridiculous thought I had – He can’t understand what I’m going through – seemed very real and true to me at the time. You may be having thoughts such as, Why did you let my mother die? Why aren’t you healing me? Why did you let me lose my business? Each of those thoughts are coming from your soul, from your harried emotions, not from your spirit man within you. If you let Him, He will shine light on those deceptions as you dig into the Word with Him.

If you don’t know if your thoughts are you or God or the enemy, one thought at a time, follow the guideline set forth in Hebrews 4:12. Get in the Word and find out what it says about what you’re thinking. If that thought doesn’t line up with God’s Word, it’s not God and shouldn’t be afforded one more second of consideration. After all the lies are discarded, you’ll be left with only one thing … the truth.

3. He knows you

Hebrews 4:12 also says that the Word discerns your thoughts and the intents of your heart. You can’t hide anything from the Word, which means you can’t hide anything from Father. That is comforting to me because it means I don’t have to put on a mask with Him. 

You don’t have to pretend that you’re not grieving, that you’re not feeling something that you’re feeling. You can be completely real with Him. You can tell Him that you’re sad, confused, angry, and He’ll love you just the same because He knows you and loves you just the way you are.

Let these next few verses paint a picture in your mind of a God who intimately knows you and loves you. He is not far off somewhere in the sky, casually glancing down to check on you every now and then. He knows you better than you know yourself. A person who knows you intimately is uniquely qualified to help you.

You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.

Psalm 139:3

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
Before you were born I sanctified you;
I ordained you a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 1:5

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.

Ps 139:1-5

He knows your thoughts before you think them and your words before you say them. He is acquainted with all of your ways. He knows where you’re weak and where you’re strong. He knows how you respond to different challenges. He knows how you handle adversity – good and bad. He knows who you are created to be, your specific purpose. He knew you intimately before you were even a thought in your parents’ minds. He knows you and has a wonderful plan for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). No loss you experience will ever change those truths.

4. He understands

This was the biggest hurdle for me to get over: the erroneous thought that He couldn’t understand what I was going through. Father gently walked me through a few verses to show me that was a lie of the enemy that I was choosing to believe. Jesus literally felt and experienced every type of pain, both emotional and physical. Whatever is causing you grief, he has faced it and overcome it.

Isaiah 53:4 says, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” Looking at the Greek words for “borne” and “griefs,” it means that Jesus literally took all anxiety, tragedies, and woe off of you and carried them away. The words for “carried” and “sorrows” means that He took the load of your anguish and pain on Himself.

Remember how we said that grief can cause physical symptoms? You can see this reflected in Isaiah 52:14, where it describes what carrying our junk did to Jesus’ physical body:

Just as many were astonished at you,
So His visage was marred more than any man,
And His form more than the sons of men.

Jesus’ face was marred more than any man who ever lived and His body was marred beyond recognition as a human. No beating from the Roman soldiers could have produced the things described in this verse. He literally carried all grief and sorrow in his body and it affected Him physically. Your body is no different than His, and prolonged grief can take a toll. It must be addressed.

The last passage Father took me to was Hebrews 4:15-16 to show me that because He has felt and experienced all forms of grief, He can empathize (share feelings) with you.

For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Hebrews 4:15

The phrase to “be touched with the feeling” (sympatheō) means that He understands you and has compassion on you. Jesus has always been fully God, but He was also a man, so He knows what you feel, He can relate to you, and He can understand what you’re going through. 

That thought I had that God didn’t understand was a lie, and He had proved it to me through His Word. This understanding allowed me to confidently draw close to His throne of loving-kindness with boldness to receive exactly what I needed (Hebrews 4:16). He could help because He had been right where I was.

As he revealed those scriptures to me that night, what had felt like an impossible monster to overcome before I sat down with Him – grief, aloneness, hopelessness – was already beginning to heal. I saw a glimpse of light for the first time in months. I was on my way to freedom. Grief was losing its grip. 

Sum it Up

What You Now Know:

No matter how strong the emotion, you are never alone.
The enemy is a liar, but the Word will reveal his lies.
He knows you intimately and has a plan for you that cannot be altered by your loss.
He understands and has the solution.

In our next article, I’ll share with you the second part of the process: what you need to do. In order to get these truths that you’ve learned working in your life, there must be a response to them. In other words, you can know the truth that you’re not alone and yet still remain in bondage to grief. Revealed truth must have a corresponding action in order to bring that truth into reality.

Until the next teaching, I encourage you to take these scriptures and meditate on them. Get the process of healing started by getting your mind off of your loss and onto what you now know.

Want more on this topic? Watch the video that goes along with this teaching by clicking the button below.