Where Is God When I’m Grieving?

Grief: take one step at a time, one day at a time.

The Goodness of God

Can you truly say that God is good?

“One of the worst things you can do as a Christian is to go around with this plasticized mask on saying, ‘I love God, and He’s so good,’ when your heart is breaking inside,” says Dr. Joseph Stowell.

“Sometimes you may say, ‘God is good,’ with tears running down your cheeks, but He is good, and He will see you through, and He never wastes your sorrows. He didn’t waste the sorrows of His Son on the Cross. He won’t waste your sorrows. He, by His magnificent power, will transform them into that which is good — that which brings gain to the kingdom and glory to His name.”

Everything God does is good. Believe this with your heart, and hold on to this truth for unfailing strength in times of sorrow.

“‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good— except God alone.’” — Luke 18:19

Lord God, I cannot pretend that everything is fine, that everything is good because it’s not. But I want to be completely truthful when I say that You, God, are good. Amen.

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He Is Faithful

The Lord is faithful to you. He will not desert you.

“God, are you really here or what?” asked Shelly after the death of her son.

She says, “I’m so glad that I came out of that. There was just a faith that surged up and said, ‘Yes, You are; You’ve always been there; You always will be. God, You’re doing something here. And I know I’m not ready to see all of it right now, so help me walk in the healing that I have today.’”

So many things are overwhelming right now. Just remember to take one step at a time, one day at a time.

Join the psalmist David in this prayer to the Lord:

O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord, my Savior. — Psalm 38:21-22.

Amen.

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If God Is Good, Why…?

Grief often brings with it theological questions. Why did God allow this or cause this to happen? Why now? Why to this person? Moral issues often arise out of the cauldron of emotions in grief. A sense of outrage is embedded in the grieving process, especially when children and good people die, sometimes creating an inner demand for justice.

Dr. Ray Pritchard says, “There are questions for which answers are hidden in the mind and heart of a loving God. All we can say is this:

God has so designed the moral universe that, as the Bible says, the rain falls on the just and the unjust.

“We live in a fallen world, a world that’s distorted by sin, and ever since sin entered the human race in the Garden of Eden there has been sin, sickness, pain, suffering, and death. So I don’t think anyone will be able to know why one child gets cancer, why one marriage breaks up, why one person loses his job and another one is promoted. Sometimes we’ll come up with superficial answers, but truly I’ve discovered that the deeper and more heartrending the question, the harder it is to come up with an answer on a human level.”

While God does not always give answers to your questions, He always gives Himself. You can focus your attention instead on the faithfulness of God, His comfort, and His promise to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28). You can trust Him when you do not have all the answers.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. — Matthew 5:45

Lord God, even though I do not understand why, I know I don’t need these answers in order to move on. Your ways and Your thoughts are truly higher than mine. Amen.

Excerpted with permission from Through a Season of Grief by Bill Dunn and Kathy Leonard, copyright The Church Initiative, Inc.

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Your Turn

Grief tends to drive us to ask God the hard questions “Why?” and “God, are You good?” It’s ok. God can handle your questions. Just don’t stay there! Trust the Lord through your grief.  He’s with you and He loves you. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Bill Dunn

Bill Dunn is vice president of Church Initiative, Inc. He graduated from Asbury College and received a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1982. During the next fifteen years he served in two pastorates. As a pastor, Bill has had many opportunities to minister to people in grief and observe its extended influence in the lives of family and close friends. Bill's wife, Holly, is an emergency room physician and has seen the process of grief through that lens. Together they co-host the GriefShare video series used in thousands of churches across the United States and beyond.

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