What scriptures for the bereaved are best to bring comfort and healing?
God’s word is full of encouragement, but what I’ve found to be the most comforting are verses about God being with me and helping me through difficult times. The one I leaned on heavily is from Isaiah.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name;
You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you. (Isaiah 43:1-2)
I want to share some of the most comforting Bible verses I know with you, but first I want to share my grief experience.
My Experience with Scriptures for the Bereaved
The meaning of bereaved is “to be deprived of a close relationship or friend through their death”. Or in other words, their life is snatched away from yours and you will never see them again on this earth.
I had never truly known pain until the day my daughter died. Sharing my grief journey with you helps me heal. It confirms my faith and of course, gives me an opportunity to tell you about my Rebekah.
Rebekah is my only girl. With four brothers, she was rough and tumble, but she was my princess. We did everything together. She looked just like me, but her personality was completely different. She was brave and outgoing and she loved big. She loved everyone whether they deserved it or not. I wish I was more like her.
We had just returned from a week long family vacation. It was wonderful. We had a great time. I always thought that God had given us that time because He knew it was time to call her home.
It all happened so quickly. One minute she was running around laughing and the next minute she was gone.
She was only eight.
There are no real words to explain how we felt for weeks or months after that. There is only a feeling. One of dread, pain, sorrow. I thought I had died.
I still marvel at the fact that life went on around me while my world had gone completely black. I remember the day we buried her. The sun was shining. I thought it was cruel. The sky should’ve been dark with storm clouds. How dare God give us a beautiful day.
Looking back, I can see the folly in my thoughts. God was telling me He was there for me in the best way He could- light.
The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. (Revelation 21:23)
I don’t know what brought you here, but I am sure you are in pain. I pray you can embrace these verses and lean into Christ.
If you are here for a friend or loved one, use these verses to encourage the broken. They need to hear that they are not alone and that God will give them the strength to heal. These verses are great to write in a card or send in a text.
Scriptures for the Bereaved
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; (Psalm 23:4)
“Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him. (Psalm 91:14-15)
Unless the Lord had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, “My foot slips,”
Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul. (Psalm 94:17-19)
You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, Shall revive me again, And bring me up again from the depths of the earth. You shall increase my greatness, And comfort me on every side. (Psalm 71:20-21)
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He saved them out of their distresses.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, And broke their chains in pieces. (Psalm 107:13-14)
You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle; Are they not in Your book? (Psalm 56:8)
For more comforting Psalms, check out “Psalms for Grief to Encourage Your Broken Heart”.
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
I called on Your name, O Lord,
From the lowest pit.
You have heard my voice:
“Do not hide Your ear
From my sighing, from my cry for help.”
You drew near on the day I called on You,
And said, “Do not fear!” (Lamentations 3:55-57)
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To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance; (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4)
Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed. (Isaiah 53:4-5)
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
1 Peter 1:6-9
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:6-9)
Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.
See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me. (Isaiah 49:15-16)
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh. (Luke 6:21)
I have seen his ways, and will heal him; I will also lead him, And restore comforts to him And to his mourners.
“I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near,” Says the Lord, “And I will heal him.” (Jeremiah 57:18-19)
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3)
One Last Word on Scriptures for the Bereaved
Grief is a difficult road to travel. Whether you’ve lost a friend, a spouse, parent, or a child. Give room for your grief. Allow yourself time to heal.
Our society feels uncomfortable with grief and often we are forced to tuck our sorrow away, but grief is never silent. It comes out in one way or another. It demands to be acknowledged.
With this in mind, embrace these scriptures for the bereaved. Allow them to penetrate your soul. Pray them back to God, lean on them. They will bring you hope.
What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below!