Whether it’s a small pinprick or overwhelming, grief is unavoidable when living in a fallen world.

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How do you grieve? Assuming your grief has an end point, what takeaways do you most often find yourself with?

As with all things, grief should flow under the umbrella of truth. Our heartaches are real and God knows and understands each one of them. Not only that, His love runs so deeply as to allow Himself—the Almighty and all-sufficient One—to suffer grief (see Genesis 6:6, I Peter 2:21). And He communicates the mystery of His being near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). My friend, these things are huge!

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It is genuinely kind of God to use imperfect followers (such as Israel’s King David) to display how deepest grief can lead anyone to holy ground and the intentional commitment to worship his or her Creator. Today, we’re going to unwrap that by briefly dissecting Psalm 119:25-32 (which can easily be read in less than a minute):

My soul cleaves to the dust.

Revive me according to Your word.

I have told of my ways,

And You have answered me.

Teach me Your statutes.

Make me understand the way of Your precepts,

So I will meditate on Your wonders.

My soul weeps because of grief;

Strengthen me according to Your word.

Remove the false way from me,

And graciously grant me Your law.

I have chosen the faithful way;

I have placed Your ordinances before me.

I cleave to Your testimonies;

O Lord, do not put me to shame!

I shall run in the way of Your commandments,

For You will enlarge my heart.

While God often helps us absorb His Word when we’re covering it at reading speed, the greater impact more often takes place when we ponder and pray over the passage before us.

Below is an example of how we can write down our grasp of a psalm and pull it into our hearts, in our own words. Please note, however, that any time we do this we are not attempting to change God’s Word to fit our way of thinking, but asking His Spirit to direct our thinking to have His Word make the quantum, twelve-inch journey from our heads to our hearts.

Consider Psalm 119:25-32, with a sample personal application/commentary in italics:

My soul cleaves to the dust.

     This really hurts, God.

Revive me according to Your word.

     You and Your Word are the only absolutes I can rely on right now.

I have told of my ways,

     You’re allowing me to grieve.

And You have answered me.

     You have acknowledged there is cause for my grief; You have answered me when I needed Your reassurance.

Teach me Your statutes.

     I still need to be taught about You, Lord.

Make me understand the way of Your precepts,

     I need and desire understanding. Help me discern the path and the nature of Your laws for me—what my standards should be.

So I will meditate on Your wonders.

     Then I’ll find myself mulling over the indescribable works of Your hands. This will strengthen me and fill me with praise.

My soul weeps because of grief;

     This still hurts, God. Even when I’m done crying on the outside, I’m still weeping deep in my heart.

Strengthen me according to Your word.

     You love me even when I’m sick with grief. Because of that, I feel I can ask You to build me back up. You can equip me with everything I need through Your recorded Word. Employ Your Word and Spirit to restore me. Your Word will help me when nothing else can.

Remove the false way from me,

     The dark untruths I’m tempted to ponder are not what I need or want. Cause them to flee; make them foreign and unfamiliar to my heart.

And graciously grant me Your law.

     In place of those falsehoods, give me Your desires for my life. Your rules and admonishments are given because of Your mercy and grace; pour them out on me in love.

I have chosen the faithful way;

     I’m going to stick with you, God.

I have placed Your ordinances before me.

     Your goals for me have become my goals for myself. With great deliberateness, I’m focusing on You and Your game plan alone.

I cleave to Your testimonies;

     Like a drowning man, I’m clinging to Your recorded promises as if they were a life-raft.

O Lord, do not put me to shame!

     I’m putting all my eggs in Your basket, God. The world is watching. Show them that it pays to trust in You!

I shall run in the way of Your commandments,

     I’ve decided that I’m not going to go after this half-heartedly, God. I’m going to run, strain, and exert myself to follow after You.

For You will enlarge my heart.

     Because You, O great God, will strengthen and enable me to do this. You will make me wiser and stronger. My heart will expand to accommodate the added treasures You will pour upon me.

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Some of the most holy, intimate worship of God blossoms within the context of grieving. The team at Encouragement That Lasts wants you to know the wonder and security of allowing your sorrows to usher you into a holy realm of worship and commitment to the God who sees you (Exodus 3:7), the God who loves you (Romans 5:8), the God willing to meet you in your need (Philippians 4:19), and who Himself bore deepest agony of soul to open salvation’s door to you—life eternal in His glorious presence (Matthew 26:37-39).

Will you consider a humble challenge?

Bring another short portion of Scripture, Psalm 119: 145-152, into your comfy, thinking spot this week. Set aside time (perhaps over a period of days) to pray, mull over, and meditate on this passage, writing your own personal application/commentary for it. It may feel awkward at first, but ask God to “make it yours”; to deeply entrench His Word into your heart and mind.

If you will do this, I believe your grief will actually lead you into holy worship and awe of God. You will know an intimacy with Him which strengthens and thrills you—even as your face and acknowledge your pain.

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MY PRAYER:  Father God, does this reader know You as Lord and Savior? As Friend and Defender? You know this is the prayer of my heart! I also ask that he or she will know You as Healer in times of grief. Thank you for giving us Jesus, our door to salvation and right standing before You. Strengthen us, I pray, in truth and deepest intimacy as You so beautifully love doing. Meet us in our heartaches, Lord, and make the ground beneath our feet, knees, or faces holy.

June

June

People Lover. Author. Blogger. Speaker. Forgiven Much & Wild About God. Learn about June's latest book on her website.

3 Comments

  • David says:

    June, this is very timely and powerful!
    Thank you for encouraging folk to take the time to be in the Word and to make it personal in their lives.
    It is incredible what a verse of scripture can do to lift a person out of grief and into joy!
    Much love and shalom to you all!
    D.

  • Stan says:

    Thank you ETL team!!

  • Brad says:

    Great truths in this blog. We are not alone in times of sorrow and grief – Isaiah 53:3 reminds us that our Savior was acquainted with grief

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