Posted in Mini Bible Studies

Walking Through Grief Part 3 of 3

A Devotional Bible Study

Day 5 and Optional Day 6

Day 5

This is the final day of this Bible study on grieving. It is a day of celebration for what the Heavenly Father will accomplish in your heart, mind, and life. I believe it for you. 

Even if you don’t feel it right now, that’s alright because Romans 4:17 says that God calls things that are not as though they were. It is a matter of faith. Praise God!! We are not righteous, yet he declares that we are. We are not justified (acquitted from sin) but he says that we are. And it is all because Christ is each of those things on our behalf. We only have to have faith and believe in him. 

The same is true of your victory over grief and despair. The Lord God of heaven and earth will bring you through the waters victorious. Through him, you will not drown in your grief. He will see you through and, over time, will heal you.

Each of these passages celebrates and praises and thanks God for what he has accomplished. Write down what stands out to you from each passage.

First of all, look up Psalm 22:22–25. One day you will do this!

Next, Psalm 30:11–12119:49–5074; and Isaiah 61:1–3. This passage in Isaiah speaks of the coming of the Messiah. It was fulfilled in Jesus’s ministry on earth.

Finally, Lamentations 3:21–2631–33. The book of Lamentations, traditionally attributed to Jeremiah, portrays the overwhelming sense of loss felt by the Jewish people when Babylon decimated their beloved Jerusalem and Temple, subsequently taking more of their people into captivity. It was written from a place of utter brokenness and despair. Yet in it, we still find hope. We find the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord in the midst of trouble.

Mark these verses in your Bible and refer to them often. As mentioned before, keep a journal of your journey through your pain so future you can see what the Lord has done. Write the scriptures on cards and post them around your house so you can see them and be constantly reminded of the truths God is teaching you from his Word.

I pray that you will be strengthened through your trial and emerge victorious on the other side.

Optional Day 6

This day is for the person who hasn’t yet come to the place of accepting the gift of salvation by faith in Jesus.

The first thing you have to do is understand your need for a Savior. If you’re struggling in the swimming pool and I knock you on the head with a lifesaver to try and drag you out, assuming you’re drowning when you’re not, you’re going to be upset with me. 

If, on the other hand, you are drowning and desperately hope someone will come along and pull you to safety, you will be so grateful for that lifesaver.

So why do people need a Savior?

Romans 3:23 and 6:23 tell us that everyone has sinned. There is no one who is righteous, “No, not one.” But God will forgive us and make us righteous in his sight if we have faith in Jesus.

The Bible calls that being “born again.” (John 3:3). You may have heard that term before. Jesus said in John 14:6 that he is the way, and the truth, and the life, and no one can come to the God, the Father, except through him.

So let’s review right quick. We are all sinners. We’re born that way. Can’t help it. If you think about it, you never have to teach a child how to lie or how to be selfish. They know that instinctively. What you have to teach them is truthfulness and kindness. 

God, on the other hand, IS holy, righteous, perfect, sin-free. His very nature requires that he judge sin. So what’s to do? How can we know God? How can we go to heaven? How can we gain forgiveness from sin?

You have to recognize your need for a Savior, your need for forgiveness of your sin. Romans 10:9-10 says that you have to confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believer in your heart that God raised him from the dead. Then you will be “saved,” “justified,” “born again.” Those are all terms the Bible uses to mean FORGIVEN!!

There’s no magic prayer or special words you have to say. You just have to come to God and humbly ask him for salvation and forgiveness. Romans 3:24 says he justifies us FREELY by his grace. It is all by faith in Jesus, not by our own righteousness (remember, we have none) or by our works. God through Jesus did all the work. We just have to believe (Ephesians 2:8-10 and Titus 3:3-7).

If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior and received forgiveness of sin, you are now a child of God, a Christian. Your work is now ahead of you. You must learn the teachings of the Bible and work in God’s kingdom and grow in your faith. 

Step 1: TELL SOMEONE!! Share what God has done in your life.

Step 2: Find a person or a ministry who can help you grow and support you as you learn to live for Jesus. (I heartily recommend or Grace to You ministries at or Precept Ministries at or 

Step 3: Find a local, Bible-following church where you can be baptized and join in fellowship with other believers. There are many out there, so don’t be discouraged if you try one and it doesn’t quite fit. Churches are like shoes. There are hundreds of sizes and styles and types of functionality. You have to try them on to see what fits. 

But the Bible is clear: we can’t be a Christian all on our own. We are part of the body of Christ, his CHURCH, made of many, many members across the world in hundreds of countries. There are local meeting places where we meet together, but we are all brothers and sisters, and we encourage and support one another as we serve Jesus in this difficult life.

Posted in Mini Bible Studies

Walking Through Grief Part 2 of 3

A Devotional Bible Study

Days 3-4

Day 3

Again today I have listed for you a passage which may express your current feelings. It is a cry unto the Lord from the depths of a heart that suffering.

Read Psalm 143. Twice this psalm requests the Lord to deliver from enemies. Make a list of your enemies in your particular situation. Things like grief, isolation, depression, even Satan himself. Once you can recognize these enemies, you will be more able to defend against them and ask God for assistance in battling them.

Notice in verse 11 David asks God to preserve his life and bring him out of trouble. I want to be blunt right now, okay? I touched on this in the introduction, but it’s important enough to bring up again. Oftentimes when people struggle and are in despair they can become depressed or even suicidal. I hope and pray that you are not in that position, dear friend. If you are, seek help, whether from a trusted friend, pastor, therapist, or a suicide hotline. Don’t wait. Your life is valuable, even if you don’t feel that right now. God creates life, and only he can decide when it should be ended.

Even if we despair of life we must continue living, as in staying alive, and living, as in going about our daily lives, even though our world may seem as if it is coming to an end. We must continue to interact with life, people, situations. We can’t isolate ourselves from friends and family. Why?

Look at Psalm 138:7–8. Pay close attention to verse 8, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me…do not abandon the works of your hands.” 

Now read Philippians 1:6. The Father began his work in us before the foundation of the world. Ephesians tells us that he prepared good works for us to do, and he prepared them beforehand. He will not neglect to finish the work he began. We don’t need to hinder that work but cooperate with it and thus fulfill our purpose.

Next read Romans 8:28–29. This verse is quoted a lot in times like these but don’t fail to notice what comes after verse 28. What is his purpose? Verse 29 says to conform us to the likeness of his Son. He uses the good and the bad in our lives to make us more like Jesus, our example.

Now skip down to verse 31, then 35–39. What powerful words! Make a list of the things that can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus. (Pretty short list, huh.) Now make another list of the things that cannot separate us from his love. 

Wow, what a comparison! He has a purpose for each of our lives and everything we go through, both good and bad, conforms to that purpose if we are submitted to him and his will.

You’ve read a lot of verses today. Take a few minutes to think about all the Father has taught you through his word and meditate on those truths as the day goes on.

Day 4

Okay. Today we are really going to get down to the nitty gritty. Very often we must be proactive in our walk with the Lord. He does all the work of salvation, but we have to claim promises and obey commands, which is our part in his work in our lives.

You are going to look at verses about controlling our thoughts. Hang in there, there are several. Why do we need to see what Scripture says about this? Romans 8:6 says, “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace…”

So, the first verse to look up is Isaiah 26:3.

The word steadfast implies established, resting in, leaning on. How can a person make his/her mind steadfast? This verse says it is steadfast because the person trusts in the Lord. 

Flip over to Philippians 4:6–8.

Paul says that we should not be anxious about anything. That’s easier said than done, isn’t it? 

But when we present our requests to God, verse 7 tells us that his peace, which transcends all understanding (How can a person have peace when they have lost someone dear?? It transcends our understanding.) will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. 

Guard them from what, do you think? Guard them from many things, not the least of which would be Satan’s attacks on our thoughts, his attempts to make us doubt, to discourage us, to make us think life isn’t worth living.

Now verse 8. This well-known verse helps us see how important it is to “take every thought captive unto Christ.” Write down the things Paul says we should think about and compare that to what we are tempted to think about, especially in times of despair. 

Skip down to verses 12 and 13. That is how you manage. Only through Christ. He is the one through whom God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches (v. 19).

I want you to see Psalm 112:6–8 next. In this passage it’s the heart of the righteous person that steadfastly trusts in the Lord. But that’s another way of saying mind.

I would like to encourage you to really pray over these verses. It is so easy to let our thoughts run away with us, especially when life seems too much to bear, and we languish on a continual diet of desperation and heartache and despair. But one of the fruit of the Spirit is self-control. 

Again, we must take our thoughts captive, make them submissive to the control of the Spirit to prevent Satan from achieving his purpose to discourage and defeat us.

I want to leave you today with 1 Peter 5:8­–10 as my prayer for you. Amen and amen.

Posted in Blog posts

Giving God Control

The day my oldest daughter had a baby is a day forever imprinted in my memory. Since he was the first grandchild on both sides of his family, his arrival caused quite a stir. Family members began to gather in the labor and delivery waiting room at the hospital, all grinning broadly and twittering with joy and excitement. None of us, however, could have anticipated at that moment the sine wave of emotions that was ahead. The events of that day left me feeling powerless and out of control, yet as a person of faith, I learned once again that in life’s scary moments, God will provide peace if we trust Him with our burdens.

Around two a.m., my youngest daughter woke my husband and me with a giddy whisper, “Mom, Dad, Emily’s water broke! They’re heading to the hospital!” 

We were instantly awake and discussing plans. Though we wanted to immediately hop into the car and make the two-hour drive, we knew it was impractical. My husband, an eye surgeon, was obligated to see his post-surgical patients in clinic that morning, but would need to make arrangements for the remainder of clinic to be canceled. Besides, my daughter, a very private person, did not want anyone in the labor room with her, so while we wanted to be close by, we would, in essence only be hurrying up to wait.  

“We might as well try to get some sleep,” we reasoned. Yeah, right.

Several hours later when we all finally arrived at the hospital, we found my son-in-law’s family already there. Most of us held our phones in our laps, snatching them up with each buzz, hungry for the slightest morsel of news. Though we calmly made small talk, it was quite evident that our insides were all butterflies and grasshoppers. 

“It looks like delivery is a few hours away,” observed Emily’s father-in-law after reading a message from his son. “Would you all want to go grab some lunch?”

Forks clinked against plates, conversation flowed freely, and laughter filled the room as we shared not only the meal, but also a spirit of kinship and family. Just as lunch concluded, word came that my daughter was almost ready to start pushing. We quickly gathered up and hurried back to the hospital.

The news, as it turned out, belied what was to come, and as the minutes ticked into hour upon hour, anticipation turned to apprehension, joy to concern. We hung on each new bit of information. 

“Her labor has stalled.”

“They are trying different labor positions and administering a drug.” 

Finally, “Progress is being made!”

Then, “Actually, no, the baby’s head is too large to fit into the birth canal.”

I had so hoped and prayed that she would not have to have a C-section, but after twenty-four hours of labor, that was the only option remaining. Unable to sit, I took the elevator down to the cafeteria and absently scanned the menu. Choosing French fries for their munchable quality, I chewed each fry like a rabbit would a carrot and tried to control my nerves. Eventually, I made the trek back to the waiting room to sit on the edge of my very uncomfortable seat.

By this point, we had all been at the hospital for fourteen hours or more, and the siblings had to leave. We four parents were the only family members – in fact, the only people at all – still in the waiting room. We began to speak of our worry, of the percentages and likelihoods (the father-in-law is a doctor too), of our kids’ exhaustion and courage. There were unspoken things as well. I felt powerless. I could do nothing to help. I could not, according to my daughter’s own wishes, even see her, hold her hand, caress her face, smooth her hair. Her husband was to be her comfort in that moment of intimacy; it was their time. Although I know her well, and I understood her need for privacy, it increased my anxiety and left me in a sort of limbo. I could not leave the hospital. I could not distract myself. I could not sleep. 

Ultimately, we parents joined hands and hearts in prayer for our precious treasures. We prayed for the doctor and the nurses too. We did aloud what we had all been doing silently in our hearts all day, giving the matter to God yet again. In that moment of unity and agreement together in prayer, we felt peace. In that deserted, stiff, non-conducive waiting room in the hospital, our hope was renewed. Soon after, I lay down across the bench and dozed. When I woke, news came that, after nearly twenty-six hours, the baby was finally born, and both mom and baby were fine.

While life provides us with many joyful moments, there are also many times when we may feel out of control or powerless. During the birth of my grandchild, a very joyous occasion, I felt powerless to ease my daughter’s suffering or to assist in any way. I felt out of control when worry and anxiety were beginning to gain the upper hand. When we prayed, I trusted God with my fears. Afterward, I felt God’s peace wash over me. At that moment, I was reminded that God is available to hear prayers and will provide strength and comfort as we place our burdens on His all-powerful shoulders.