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Grief-Crisis Counseling


Sermon shared by Brian Buriff

April 2007
Summary: When tragedy strikes someone near you, how will you help them? Seven (7) ways to effectively help those in crisis-grief. A practical follow-up teaching sermon developed just after the April 16th (2007)Virginia Tech Shootings. A biblical view of the gri
Denomination: Church of God
Audience: General adults
Lamentations 1:1-21 – Portrait Of Grief


A. Elizabeth Kubler Ross - On Death & Dying

B. Five Stages Of Grief

1. Shock, Denial & Isolation
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression
5. Acceptance


A. Look At Jeremiah’s Grief Process:

1. His tears (v. 2)
2. His unrest (v. 3)
3. His bitterness (v. 4)
4. His remembering (v. 7)
5. His unsurpassed sorrow (v. 12)
6. His heartache (v. 20)
7. His loneliness (“nobody to comfort him”) (v. 2,9,17,21)

B. Grief Is Normal

1. God expects us to grieve
2. God accepts our expressions of grief


A. By Our Physical Presence

1. Just having you there was such a help
2. Flesh & blood brothers & sisters in Christ standing with them
3. Physical presence after funeral, more important than before

B. By Just Listening

1. Not to “words” but to “feelings”
2. Emotions repressed become toxins that kill
3. Sometimes person says nothing - sensitive comforter accepts that silence and doesn’t violate it

C. By What We Say

Temptation is to say too much - to respond to their words instead of responding to their feelings

D. By Sharing The Word Of God

1. What is meaningful to us
2. Not using it to manipulate them or condemn them
3. Scripture that was meaningful to us in midst of our own suffering

E. By Praying

1. In hour of sorrow, the prayer that comforts, not preachy, is one that leads everybody into presence of loving Father
2. In his presence, peace can be found

F. By Mobilizing Church Family

1. Instructing them how to encourage
2. Being there to help in simplest of tasks

G. By Patience

1. Psalm 23 - David said, “ye thou I walk through the valley of the shadow…”
2. Notice he said, “I walk”
a. we can’t run through the valley
b. we can’t outrun our shock and grief
3. Those who grieve must be patient with themselves – and this starts with those who minister to them to be patient with them as well
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