Is there such a thing as “good grief”? Doesn’t the meaning of grief imply something that is not good? As we are walking out the journey of grief together as a family since my father-in-law died last weekend, I have been contemplating grief a fair bit.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are able to grieve differently from those without the hope of heaven. How do we experience this “good grief”? I believe it is by meditating on the truth of God’s promises.
Our citizenship is in heaven. We eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. Philippians 3:19-21
My father-in-law has a new, healthy, glorified body now, free from suffering and pain. One day, those of us in Christ will be reunited with him and have these same eternal bodies.
But in keeping with God’s promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells”. Romans 8:21 “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 2 Peter 3:13
Not only will we have new bodies, but this broken earth will also be transformed, made new and good again.
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, you will know my Father also.” John 14:1-7
We have the promise of being with the Lord forever. He is preparing a place for us and has shown us the way to get there.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus before He raised him from the dead. We will grieve the loss of our loved ones’ presence here on earth and how our lives will never be the same without them here. Grieving is a part of this life especially in the face of death BUT we can experience “good grief” when we focus on God’s peace, presence and provision.