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Believing in the future is an act of the will.  Trials come.  Tears come.  Life comes.  We can expect that we will know times of sorrow and pain in this walk of life.  Some of it will be unwanted.  But God will use it all to grow us more into the image of His beloved Son, Jesus.

Jesus is with us in the challenges of life.  Jesus cries with us and rejoices with us when we know times of joy.  But the seasons of sorrow have their purpose, too.  By faith we are let the Spirit of God speak and guide so that all we do in life is a reflection of His loving hand with us, even when life hurts.  The Lord promises to be with us always.  Trust His promise to be personal to you for it is.

Lord, never will you leave us.  Even when life is so very painful and disappointing.  Thank You, Lord, for Thy steady presence at all times and in all places.  You do indeed stick closer than a brother as You dearly promised in Your Word.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.

 

 

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As a believer in Christ, the capacity to give is not measured by what we give but by how much of Jesus is inside of us to give to others.  Jesus makes us givers.  His love, His heart, His compassion, His desire to care are reflected in our reach to others.  Christians measure their giving based on a dying to self so Christ can live and be the fullness from which we give.
Grief is a severe yet honest barometer as to how much of Jesus one truly possesses.  When we lose someone or something dear to us, how deep we go in faith to reach for Jesus’ comfort indicates how much of Him lives inside of us.  When we watch someone we know live with sorrow and pain, the degree to which we enter into that pain to help them is an indication of how much of self lives in a heart or how much of Jesus lives in a heart.
Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday.  Each day reveals the provocative and deep emotions the Saviour experienced in order to love you and to love me completely and eternally.  The cost of Christ’s expression of love is too dear for words.  It is an expression each of us feels in our hearts as we read His Word and meditate on the details that brought Him to Calvary.  Love is the reason why He did it.  Pain is truly part of love.
As we live with losses in our lives of people, places, dreams, and possibilities, we are to remember the Jesus who carried His death-cross for love,and then died on the cross to prove His commitment and His desire to keep us with Him forevermore.  Those who grieve can take comfort in the fact that Jesus is alive, and that all who know sorrow still have His love on which to lean and on which to hope.  Those who grieve can look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who gave all so that we could draw from His heart to be givers beyond grief and even because of it.
Lord Jesus, You gave everything of Yourself in love and for love.  You suffered an excruciating death that did not look like an act of love, but it was.  Lord, may we remember Your sacrifice on the cross as we walk throughout our lives.  Grant us Your Spirit to remember that love always involves pain and sacrifice.  But because You love us, You will carry us in our times of sorrow and You will teach us more deeply the cost of love.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, our Redeemer, our all.  Amen. 
Life is the place where we learn about love.  Grief is one of life’s purest yet hardest experiences that brings forth understanding about love, its power, and why grief can be so penetrating.  When loss occurs in our lives, it is associated with the loss of love of some kind or the loss of the potential expression of love.  When someone or something in our life dies, we grieve not only that which has been but we grieve for that which will not be.

In the Bible, Isaiah 53 tells us that Jesus was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  In the Book of John (11:35) we know that Jesus wept over the death of his special friend, Lazarus.  Jesus was God and man as He walked this earth, and He knew then as He knows today what it means to suffer loss.  As you and I go through our seasons of loss and sorrows that can be devestating and occur without warning, we are assured that Jesus Himself will go through this with us.  Jesus Himself will suffer every pain we know and cry with us as we cry.  But Jesus will stay.  He will stay with those who believe in Him, no matter what.  His love is dependable and His love is pure.  His love will never end.

Jesus, You promised to be with us for the course of our lives.  Lord, love can be so very painful, for its various facets reveal much that is telling and instructive about You, about life, and about ourselves.  In all of the losses our lives know, knowing You will always be the strength and the healing that will bring us to new tomorrows of hope.  Jesus, You alone are the reason for hope and for continuance in life’s painful sorrows.  In Thee, we reside.  Amen.

Hope is elusive when grief comes. Because hope indicates optimism, when loss enters our lives, it can seem as though there is nothing optimistic about the future. But hope in Jesus makes the difference between hope that is certain and the world’s hope. Jesus does indeed keep fervent and alive His complete hope.

Losses in life come in unexpected ways. However loss meet us, the Christian has the promise of Christ that He will be with us and He will help us navigate through those times in life that are so deeply painful. Jesus will usher us along and guide us by His Word and Spirit to pathways in His grace that we have yet to see but His hope is certain to eventually reveal.

Lord Christ, life hurts at times and losses do break our hearts. But You remain steadfast and strong, mighty to uphold those who grieve with Your love, Your tenderness, and Your perfect hope. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Thy sustaining loving care. In Thee, Lord Christ, Amen.

A full moon when cloud-covered is a compelling view.  The moonlight that emanates from the moon filters through the clouds, and while the contours of the moon cannot be seen, one is certain of the light behind it.  In much the same way, when grief covers our lives, we can be sure that the light of Christ shines behind our grief.

When grief impacts our lives, a secondary loss of hope can also enter in to cloud possibilities and dim the future.  But Jesus–Jesus Himself–is the hope that stays, the hope that does not disappoint.  When one believes in Jesus as Saviour, a life is infused with the Holy Spirit to uphold a spirit. This does not mean that we will not feel loss and sorrow.  We will.  But what it assures is that Jesus will accompany us when life hurts, and Jesus will carry us through a season of sadness–by His light.  Eventually we shall see the light again with our own eyes because Jesus stays and He guides our way.

Lord Jesus, You see the pains we suffer in this life and You stay through the times of passing clouds and dull light.  You make possible–even in night seasons–that which is purposeful.   By Thy light and vision, we trust You to be with those who grieve.  Lord, the Maker of the moon and the moonlight, help us to keep our eyes on You to bring light and hope to our lives.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.
We cross paths with all kinds of people in life.  Spme are with us for a season.  Others for many seasons.  Sometimes there are persons we believe we will share lilfe with for many years, for all the years, but then life changes.  Death and unforeseen circumstances come and the framework of those relationships shifts and grief enters.  We grieve not only what was but grieve the loss of what shall never be. 
 
Jesus understands grief.  Isaiah 53 states that Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.  Jesus knows fully and personally those things that sear our hearts and the reasons why.  Yet, He is never the One to cause grief but will carry the sorrows for us.  His love is so deep for people.  He takes every hurt, every wound, as though it were His own.  When He breathes on it, healing begins. 
 
Breathe on us, Lord Jesus, in our times of grief.  You know every tear and why it falls from the heart through the eyes.  Breathe on us, Lord Jesus, to make meaning out of grief; a meaning defined only by Your love.  In Thee, Lord Christ, Amen.
To live a life with Jesus is to be certain that everything you experience, He experiences.  Whatever sorrows and challenges you face, He is there with you.  To know that one is not alone in times of grief and loss is a great comfort.  Jesus is the certain presence when loss strikes, and He is the One who will always stay no matter how life hurts.

Grief is part of this life.  A most difficult and painful part.  Jesus knows that.  To believe in Him is to be assured that He will remain with you in a season of grief.  He will stay with you when He does indeed turn the night of mourning into a morn of joy.  It will come.  Jesus promised.  Trust His reliable and faithful heart.

Lord Jesus, sorrows in life come in ways we cannot predict or avoid and in ways so terribly painful.  Lord, help us to rely on Your ever-present love and strength to see us through seasons of sadness.  You are the God of all time and place and we trust You in all the days of our lives.  In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.

Where is your hope today? Is in in yourself or in Jesus? Think about your answer. Believers in Jesus may respond as a reflex and think, of course, it is in Jesus. However, human tendencies can sometimes mar the faith it takes to really put the full weight of hope in the Person of Jesus. Especially when circumstances in this world are painful and complex, and seem to require a human touch to fix them rather than the Divine Hand to guide them.

Hope can ebb and flow. Even for Christians. There may be seasons in life that deplete hope; often these are seasons of sorrow and challenge. But God in Christ assures us that we are not allow in these seasons. Jesus stays. Jesus soothes. The Holy Spirit inspires and instructs. Where is your hope today? If it is firmly in Jesus, praise Him. If it is in yourself, seek Him. He wants to carry you and your needs in His loving care. Let Him.

Lord Jesus, to follow You is to be sure by faith that You steady those in times of challenge. Thank You, Jesus for Your calm presence. Thank You, Jesus, for Your unending hope. All fountains are in You. In Thee, Lord Jesus, Amen.

The wonder of God goes far beyond what blesses us based on our desires.  The wonder of God is that He can bless us in times when life is not at all as we desire.  To continue to follow God’s beloved Son, Jesus, is to develop a trust in the Lord who promised to be with you no matter what you face in life.  When life is good and easy, trusting God is easy.  When life brings challenge, loss, and pain, trust is far harder.  But it is only in times of trial that one can truly know the faithfulness of God’s presence.  Often, it is not until one is well out of a season of trial that the consistency of God’s presence is most clear.

To follow Jesus is not so much rooted in our steps as in His.  To follow Him is to put full confidence in what He said He would do–Be there.  He promises to be with you no matter what life brings and what life does not bring.  To follow the Star that is Christ is to be certain by faith that He is not going to weaken His hold on you, even if you weaken your hold on Him.  He will be there, abiding in His steadfast love for you.  Will you accept that love?  No matter what?  This is what true love is all about.  Believing that One will be there always.  Jesus will.

Lord, You promised.  To be there.  To stay there.  Guide the hearts of those who need to feel the comfort of Your promise.  Soothe those who doubt.  Thank You eternally, Jesus, that You promised.  In Thee, Amen.
There is a difference between grief and mourning.  Mourning is outer i.e., what is done publicly in rituals that signify an ending.  Grief is inner; the emotional pains borne as a result of a loss.  While these are different expressions of a loss, sometimes grief can take its toll physically if one experiences lack of sleep, appetite fluctuations, mood swings that bring about angry outbursts or crying spells. Because grief is a volatile experience, one may not know how it will show itself.  Whether grief is visible or worn inside on the heart, Jesus knows every nuance of your personal experience of grief.

Jesus knows everything.  He has complete awareness of what you are feeling as you mire through the grief and its unpredictable emotions.  Yet, He Himself stays the same to create an equlibrium for you that can only be the result of His divine presence.  Whatever you are feeling that is obvious or concealed, Jesus knows all you are feeling.  He will uphold you.  Even if you feel unsteady, His Hand and His strength are sure.  Do rely on Him to carry you through.  He wants to.  He love you so.

Lord Jesus, grief is so deeply painful.  It is a foreign experience if it has never been know yet it is a universal experience.  Jesus, Thank You for being the steady strength and support this reader requires to carry on by the support of Your endless love.  In Thee, Amen.