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Reaching Your World Archive

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Series: Luis Palau | Finding a Way through Grief

Grief is inevitable in this life. This week on “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau,” Luis tells us how to lean on God and His community of believers when we experience grief. 

Let not your Heart be Troubled Friday, June 11, 2021

If I could share one Bible verse with everyone this year, it would be the words of Jesus in John 14:1. Judas has just left the upper room. Jesus tells the other disciples that He is with them only a little longer. Then He will be crucified.
What will Jesus say next? The first thing He says in John 14:1 will be remembered forever. Jesus says, “Let not your heart be troubled.”
You may be thinking, “How could Jesus say that? How in the world could He possibly say, ‘Let not your heart be troubled’? He says He is going to be put to death. What will happen to us then?”

Let’s consider what Jesus is not saying. In the broader context, just a few paragraphs earlier, John 13:21 says that Jesus was troubled in spirit that one of His own disciples was going to betray Him. Betrayal by a close friend is wicked. It cuts to the quick. It can devastate us. So, Jesus is not saying that terrible things will never happen to us. They will.
So what’s the secret? Jesus tells us in the second half of John 14:1. First, He says, “Let not your heart be troubled.” Then He says, “You believe in God. Believe also in Me.” Today you may be troubled. Believe in Jesus, receive Him as your Savior, and let Him give you peace.

This is Andrew Palau.

Helping a Grieving World Thursday, June 10, 2021

Our world is so big, but sometimes it seems small because of tools like the internet. We can see videos of countries oceans away, places we have only read about. But this opens us up to the griefs of the world. There are many countries in pain. From diseases like malaria and Ebola, to political strife, to poverty and terrorism, countries are grieving the losses of children, parents, and hope. What can we do from thousands of miles away, with so many far-away people in pain?

First, we should not lose hope. 1 Thessalonians says we should not grieve as others do who have no hope. We should believe that God can change the pains of this world.

Second, we should be praying hard. We can pray for God to move in these communities, to bring his light and life to those suffering. We can pray for evil dictators to be torn down, for societies that discriminate against women and children to change, and for racial oppression to cease. We know that God can do mighty things when his people pray. So, pray – since you really do care.

Third, we should do what we can to ease the suffering. Maybe this means not buying certain products, or giving money to microfinance organizations. Whatever we can do to ease the griefs of this world, we should do: in the name of Jesus our comfort and hope.

This is Luis Palau.

Finding a Place to Talk Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Sometimes grief can be so overwhelming that we can shut down. When we lose what we love very much, we feel isolated and alone. We feel that no one can understand our pain. But staying away from other people can only keep us from the community that we need in order to be whole and part of God’s kingdom.

This is why there are counselors and support groups for cancer survivors or parents who have lost children to cancer. There are groups for recovering alcoholics and families of alcoholics. There are groups for people who have chronic pain or parents of children with chronic diseases. These are not for people who are weak; they are for all people. Humans are meant to live in community, to share our griefs and stories together.

God created the church as a place where we can collectively pray and worship Him, and care for one another. If there are 100 people in a church service, there are at least 100 different pains being brought to Christ. As Christians, we need to ask our brothers and sisters if they are okay, and listen carefully to their answers. As it says in 2 Corinthians chapter 1, God will help us “comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” We do not need the answers; God has them.

So if you are grieving, find someone to talk to. And if people come to you with grief, comfort them with God’s comfort.

This is Luis Palau.

Finding Hope in Silence Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Job was a biblical figure whom God tested over and over again. God allowed everything that Job loved to be taken from him, so Job was moved to grief. His friends didn’t know how to help him. So what did they do? The Bible says, “And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.” All they could do was sit with their friend as he grieved.

Sometimes words are not helpful in the face of grief. Some griefs are too deep to be expressed. A godly friend who can sit with someone in the midst of that grief can bring the comfort of Jesus. This can be better than providing any words. A certain speaker once said, “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares.”

Words are easy to say, but sometimes silence is louder. In the silence, pray loudly in your heart. Use the silence as a time to approach God with requests for comfort and joy for your friend. God will hear your prayer, and your friend will feel your presence. Then, when your friend is ready to talk, you will be there to provide God’s comfort in that time of grief. Have God’s promises clearly memorized so your comfort is God’s Word, not yours alone.

This is Luis Palau.

Finding a Way through Personal Grief Monday, June 7, 2021

C.S. Lewis is one of the great Christian writers of the last century. He wrote many books, including The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and Mere Christianity. A lesser-known book of his is called A Grief Observed. In it, he talks about the death of his beloved wife.

In this very honest book, Lewis describes his grief as “an amputation.” He means the loss of his wife is something that he can survive, but he will never be the same. The pain of the lost limb or lost loved one will always be there, aching in the background of life.

Many of us have lost someone we care about, either suddenly or over a long while. I can relate to this because my dad passed away when I was just 10 years old. Some of us are grieving other losses: the loss of a job, a relationship, or a dream. Maybe someone is grieving the loss of a limb. Grief is a painful part of life, just as joy is a lovely part of life. And just as Christ celebrates with us when we are joyful, He grieves with us when we are overcome with pain. Remember, Jesus wept with His friends over the loss of Lazarus. He showed us what it looks like when the Psalmist writes, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Jesus is there with us in our pain, and He will help us learn to live life again, after the amputation.

This is Luis Palau.

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