Summary: After the death of a departed believer, we mourn for ourselves. We must look to our own spiritual health and growth.
1. Grief is like isolation when someone close dies and we are left without them.
2. Death is final, no re-runs, no GPS, re-calibrations.
3. Death is like losing a limb, it never grows back and you miss it every time you need it.
4. Four steps to grief:
a. Loneliness you feel when you know death is inevitable.
b. The sudden shock realizing, “she’s dead.”
c. The long drawn out process of grief and mourning. You must adjust (1) schedules, (2) priorities, (3) habits, (4) attitudes.
d. The “life goes on” stage. You adjust to living without them. You never forget, their memory is attached to you.
Facing death: The loneliness of doubt
After death: the loneliness of disconnect
5. Grief is a deep distress connected by bereavement. Mourning is an inward ongoing suffering caused by suffering.
6. Bible reflects some violence: tear clothes, pitch ashes, loud crying and wailing, etc. Also reflects: silent tears, physical inability, mourning, etc.
7. The problem: There must be a detachment with the dead body.
a. Funeral gives closures.
b. Leaving the cemetery.
c. Final viewing of the body.
d. Speaking to friends and/or at funeral service.
B. THE DEATH OF SARAH – GENESIS 23:1ff
1. Apparently Abraham was not present when Sarah died. “Sarah lived one hundred and twenty-seven years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. So Sarah died in Kirjath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. Then Abraham stood up from before his dead, and spoke to the sons of Heth, saying, ‘I am a foreigner and a visitor among you. Give me property for a burial place among you, that I may bury my dead out of my sight’” (Gen. 23:1-4, NKJV).
2. Abraham came to mourn inwardly and to weep outwardly.
3. They were married approximately 80 years. Death was difficult for Abraham.
5. Expressing our emotions helps deal with our loss.
6. Leave the cemetery. “Abraham, leaving her body, said to the Hittite elders” (Gen. 23:3, NLT).
7. Bury with dignity. “Let me buy . . . so I will have a permanent burial place for my family” (23:9). Notice his faith in the future “for my family.”
C. MOURNING AND GRIEVING
1. In loneliness the survivors are trying to accept the reality of what has happened, and what will happen to them.
2. Don’t avoid the grieving process. Some will try to avoid the reality of death, but they can’t deny the reality their loved one has died.
3. Watch for expressions of anger, i.e., against God, doctors, hospitals, loved ones.
4. Those who died honestly with grief try to solve physical problems they face.
5. Mourning is natural.
6. Regret is one of the biggest issues of those who lost loved ones.
7. Abandonment is also a feeling of those who lost a loved one.
8. Some will have guilt, i.e., “I should have died” or “why was I spared?”
9. Life modification. All of life is adjustment. To rebuild a life without the deceased, we must learn new behaviors patters, and new skills of living.
10. The departed believer is in a wonderful place that is promised to them in Scriptures. We should not mourn for them. We mourn for ourselves. We must look to our own spiritual health and growth.
11. Those who remain must join the deceased in their faith. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, (of earthly rewards) but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13, KJV).
12. Those losing family or friends must reconnect to others because life does go on.
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If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.