Emotions - Grief


11/05/2006
Sometimes I get discouraged because my sister passed away from cancer at the age of 32 and for a whole year I prayed and prayed and prayed but she passed away. It just sometimes makes me question if God is really listening. Why would He not listen to my prayer but maybe listen to someone else’s?

First of all, I’m sorry to hear about your sister. I think that one of the most discouraging things in the whole Christian life is praying for something and then not seeing it happen and not seeing the answer. What do you do in a situation like that, especially when it’s somebody as close as your sister; somebody that you’ve loved and prayed for.
Where I find comfort in a situation like that is in John chapter 20. When Jesus came to appear to his disciples, there was one of the disciples that said that he didn't believe that Jesus appeared. He wanted to see the nail prints in His hands and the spear in His side and before he would believe. Jesus appeared to Thomas and He said, “Behold, Thomas, look at my hands and look at my side. Now, don’t be unbelieving, believe.” Then of course, Thomas fell to his knees and fell at the feet of Jesus and said, “My Lord and my God.” What did Jesus say? He said, “Thomas, you’ve seen and you have believed. But blessed are those that have not seen and yet, they have believed.”

I think that though I want to see and believe, I want to see your sister healed so I can believe and I want to see other things happen to help me believe. I want to see the dead raised so I can believe and I want to see the lame walk so I can believe. Jesus said the greater blessing is when we can believe Him and believe His Word and believe His promises even when we haven’t seen the manifestation of those things. The greater blessing is to keep believing even when it looks worse and even when it looks like it failed or even when it looks like God didn’t answer our prayers.

We don’t know all the answers behind why your sister died. You’ll never know until you stand before God and until He shows you in heaven. We don’t know why certain tragedies happen in our lives and in our loved ones’ lives but we do know this; we’ll be blessed, we’ll be happy, we’ll be prosperous and we’ll be successful heart and in our minds when we believe even when we have not seen.

There’s nothing wrong with having questions. What you have to realize is that none of those questions are going to get answered by other people, none of those questions are going to get answered by your own heart, those questions are only going to be answered by God. What we find is that the Bible has the only answers that we can count on having for sure in this life, but when we get to heaven, whatever is missing, whatever we didn’t understand, whatever we didn’t know, we’re going to know then.

The good news is, if your sister was a believer (she was) then you need to look at her life on the side of eternity. Once she fought and you fought for her, you both did all the fighting you could but yet, she went home to be with the Lord. Now, there’s nothing to fight. There’s no cancer in her body, there’s no sickness in her body, she is completely healthy and completely healed and she has an immortal body that will never be sick again and you should rejoice in that. Rejoice in the hope that you will see her again.

It won’t be long because even though you might live 40 or 50 more years, it’s but a twinkling of an eye in the face of eternity. I pray that God will comfort you by the Holy Spirit in the absence of your sister and that He’ll be more to you than a sister or a brother could ever be. He’ll be a friend that sticks closer than a brother like it says in Proverbs chapter 18.


Emotions - Grief


16/03/2006
How does a person recover from grieving? I lost my twin daughter a year ago. Her birthday is Saturday and I'm asking for prayer to keep us & rejoice to see her in the future.

You overcome grief with the presence of God and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. We come into His presence by the blood of Jesus. We receive the comfort of the Holy Spirit by opening ourselves up to Him saying, “Holy Spirit, fill me with your comfort today. Strengthen me with your comfort today.” Jesus bore our griefs. You’ve got to go to Jesus. Just like you went to Him for forgiveness of your sins, go to Him again to be delivered from grief. Say, “Lord, I ask you to remove this grief from me.” And according to Isaiah 53, He will.

Then you remember the good about your daughter. And you recognize and realize that she’s in heaven and you’ll see her again. Grief is related to death and when you think death is final, then you’re going to grieve forever. But when you realize death causes you to pass into life if you put your faith in Jesus Christ, you’ll live forever, and she’s going to live forever. You’re going to see her again and that should give you hope. And that should give you confidence and the courage to live your life for her now. Let her live her life through you.

Don’t make a second death by you dying to joy and feeling guilty that you can’t be happy because your daughter isn’t here anymore. She’s happy because she’s with God. She’s with Jesus Christ, so she would not want you to be living with guilt like “I can’t have fun or enjoy my life now because my daughter isn’t with me, so it’s unfair for me to enjoy life and for her not to be enjoying life” because you need to realize she IS enjoying life right now with God in His presence. The Bible says, “To be absent from the body is to be present from the Lord.” These are some of the things that will free you from grief.


Emotions - Grief


16/03/2006
Pastor, this last week I lost my big brother. He went home to be with the Lord. I know that he is so much better off. I just don’t understand why my heart is filled with so much pain because of his loss. When it’s my time to go home to be with the Lord, I long to be there. And I know that he’s in so much better of a place and no more suffering. Why I am hurting so bad? Where can I go to the Scripture to find some peace?

That’s a great question. I think, first of all, it’s perfectly normal to be hurting. I’ll tell you why you’re hurting. Because you loved him. Because he obviously was a fine, fine man. He was somebody that the Bible talks about, perhaps he was somebody in whom—Hebrews 11 says—“a man in whom the world was not worthy.” Perhaps he was such a good man that it impacted your life, and penetrated your life in such a way that there is a sense of loss and there is a sense of, “Man, I wish he was still here, because he was such an encouragement to me.” So, be encouraged that your brother had that kind of impact on you. Be encouraged that he left that kind of mark in your life. That’s number one.

Number two, the place we go to Scripture for comfort is Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name sake. He comforts me. He encourages me. He strengthens me. We also go to 2 Corinthians 1, it talks about the God of all comfort will comfort you. Romans 15:13, that He will comfort and He will encourage you with the Scriptures and with the Word of God. 1 Corinthians 13, God will comfort you with His love. Psalm 27, “If my mother and father forsake me, the Lord will take me up.” Hebrews 13:5-8, “He will never leave me or forsake me.” John 14:26-28, that “I will not leave you comfortless, but I will give you a Comforter, who will encourage you and comfort you and strengthen you.”

So be encouraged with those verses, and you know already that your brother is with God, and in the presence of God, and you will see him again. Be encouraged by that. And look up those Scriptures that I just gave you and you’ll be encouraged by those as well.


Emotions - Grief


16/03/2006
Sometimes I get discouraged because my sister passed away from cancer at the age of 32 and for a whole year I prayed and prayed and prayed. And she passed away. It just sometimes makes me question, “Is He really listening?” And why would He not listen to my prayer but maybe listen to someone else’?”

First of all, I’m sorry to hear that. I think that that can be one of the most discouraging things in the whole Christian life is praying for something and then not seeing it happen and not seeing the answer. And what do you do in a situation like that? Especially when it’s somebody as close as your sister, somebody that you’ve loved and somebody that you’ve prayed for.

Where I find comfort in a situation like that is in John chapter 20. When Jesus came to appear to his disciples, there was one of the disciples that said, “I don’t believe that He’s appeared. I’m going to have to see the nail prints in His hands and I’m going to have to see the spear in His side and then I’ll know. And Jesus appeared to Thomas, appeared to the disciples a second time with Thomas standing there and He said, “Behold, Thomas, look at my hands and look at my side. Now, don’t be unbelieving, be believing.” And then of course, Thomas fell to his knees and fell at the feet of Jesus and said, “My Lord and my God.” And what did Jesus say? He said, “Thomas, you’ve seen and you have believed. But blessed are those that have not seen and yet, they have believed.”

And I think that though I want to see and believe, I want to see your sister healed so I can believe and I want to see other things happen. I want to see the dead raised so I can believe and I want to see the lame walk so I can believe, but Jesus said the greater blessing is when we can believe Him and believe His Word and believe His promises even when we haven’t seen the manifestation of those things. The greater blessing is to keep believing even when it looks worse and even when it looks like it failed or even when it looks like God didn’t answer our prayers. We don’t know all the answers behind why your sister died. You’ll never know until you stand before God and until He shows us in heaven.

We don’t know why certain tragedies happen in our lives and in our loved ones’ lives, but we do know this; we’ll be blessed, we’ll be happy, we’ll be prosperous, we’ll be successful heart and in our minds when we believe even when we have not seen.

There’s nothing wrong with having questions. But what you want to do is, you want to realize that none of those questions are going to get answered by other people, none of those questions are going to get answered by your own heart, those questions are only going to be answered by God. And what we find in the Bible is the only answers that we can count on having for sure in this life, but when we get to heaven, whatever is missing, whatever we didn’t understand, whatever we didn’t know, we’re going to know then.

And the good news is, if your sister was a believer (she was) then you need to look on the side of eternity, that once she fought, once you fought for her, you did all the fighting you could, she did all the fighting she could, but yet, she went home to be with the Lord. And now, there’s nothing to fight. There’s no cancer in her body, there’s no sickness in her body, she is completely healthy and completely healed and she has an immortal body that will never be sick again and you should rejoice in that. Rejoice in the hope that you will see her again.

And it won’t be long because even though you might live 40 or 50 more years, it’s but a twinkling of an eye in the face of eternity. I pray that God will comfort you by the Holy Spirit in the absence of your sister. And that He’ll be more to you than a sister or a brother could ever be. And He’ll be a friend that sticks closer than a brother like it says in Proverbs chapter 18.