Romans 8:28 NASB - "28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
For most people in the church this is the first verse that people share with those who are mourning. It is a bitter/sweet verse for those caught in the pain, confusion, insanity, and reality of deep loss. Some people seem to think that it can magically remove all the suffering of a significant loss.
In most cases, this is not going to happen.
Yet, it is a very important part of what we must come to more and more fully believe as we go through the process of mourning and grief. We must begin to see that even as the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ was a horrible necessity for our forgiveness and God’s kingdom to be created, so also, the suffering of our loved one and our struggle, are in some way necessary for God’s ultimate redemptive work to be done in our lives and many other lives as well.
In some way through this loss we will become more like our Lord Jesus, others will be impacted for the Lord Jesus, and glorious honor will come to the Lord Jesus out of all our tears. This is something we will have to believe by trust in God’s promises since at first this all seems impossible. At the beginning this trust will have to be in the dark reality of our significant and real hammering agony of our deep and profound hurt and separation from our loved one. In time we may get some hint of how this is working, but only a hint at best.
This does not do away with our pain and grief but only helps us bear it because we know from God’s promise to us that this pain is not in vain. Indeed, the promise of God is that there will be a substantial and real gain for others and us because of this struggle and injury to our souls.
So as you think about this verse accept the bitter/sweet reality of it. It does not take away the deep and real pain of our loss. However, it does promise us that out of this horrible time and the ashes of our sorrow will arise a beautiful “Phoenix of God” which will take flight. The birth of this divine purpose our of our pain can make it easier to endure and accept.
Prayer: Lord, help me value the good coming out of my grief enough to trust that these tears and agony are not in vain. Show me in some small way the gains for your kingdom that have come due to this dark and miserable time. Allow my heart to accept the comfort and strength of this truth. Lord have mercy on me now and show me how to walk by faith.