From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
The Bible tells us to be thankful to God in all things (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It is not that we thank God that loved ones have been taken from us, but that our loved ones are in Heaven where pain and death will never touch them again. Be thankful that God is with us in our own grief. God is still in control—even when we do not understand all that happens in this sin-scarred world. Like the apostle Paul we can be sorrowful, yet always rejoicing (2 Corinthians 6:10).
It is important that we confess to God how we really feel. He already knows it, of course, but we need to be honest with Him and ourselves and face our own need of healing. We must always remember the pain that Jesus endured for us on the cross. He suffered unlike anyone in all of history. Christ was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). He knows about suffering and He wants to help us in our own times of despair, whether from loneliness, anger or any other emotion that grips us.
When we seize God’s strength we grow with a deeper sense of God’s love and we begin to feel His comfort. He came to “comfort all who mourn, … to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise” (Isaiah 61:2-3). When we know the Lord in a personal way—when we belong to Him as His child—He will restore our joy and bring peace into our lives.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)