Step Eight: PERSEVERE in the new life and identity to which God has called me.
Below is a video from the “Taking the Journey of Grief with Hope” seminar of The Summit Church (Durham, NC). For the various counseling options available from this material visit www.summitrdu.com/counseling.
NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. Summit members can pick up a copy of the notebook in the church office. For those outside the Summit family, you can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at firstname.lastname@example.org (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).
“Some of my grief related to my loss remains [describe] but it defines me less and less. But I am also experiencing more of what God has for me. I never knew life could include [list of experiences] again. I see now that God was not withholding these things from me, nor did I forfeit them. I am learning to enjoy them without the guilt, fear, or guardedness. I have come to realize that ‘healthy’ means more than the absence of grief. I am learning to trust and enjoy God in the rise and fall of my circumstances.”
Memorize: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (ESV), “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:
- “Now” – This verse applies to each moment you call “now.” There is no need to fear God’s comfort will expire.
- “Who loved us” – Responding to God’s love is the fuel for perseverance and why Satan causes us to question it.
- “Eternal comfort… comfort” – God understands that even eternal comforts needs to be applied repeatedly.
- “Good hope” – During this step we become convinced again that our hope is more than wishful thinking.
- “Work and word” – As you enter this stage of grief, there should be a renewed balance in serving for others and being cared for by them.
“Sometimes grief is so powerful that it feels like you died too… But, remember, though you are surrounded by death, you still live. Your soul needs to be fed. Your heart needs to be encouraged. Don’t quit. Don’t give up. Don’t let go of the good habits of faith that shaped and strengthened your relationship with Christ before your loss (p. 13).” Paul Tripp in Grief: Finding Hope Again
“But this is tantamount to arguing that God is like the husband who gives his wife a new toaster for their anniversary when she was expecting a romantic trip for two to a bed and breakfast. No matter how much she may need a toaster, she is unlikely to see it as a deep expression of her husband’s love… God had offered me genuine comfort in good faith, but I had failed to appreciate them as such. If this is true, then God’s comfort is not relative, but absolute, with discrete characteristics which we can learn to recognize (p. 23).” Joseph Lehmann in “Believing in Hope” from The Journal of Biblical Counseling (Winter 1998).
“Suffering is always an opportunity to focus on the only treasure that will last forever and never disappoint you or fade away (p. 8).” Winston Smith in Divorce Recovery: Growing and Healing God’s Way
“By praising I can still, in some degree, enjoy her, and already, in some degree, enjoy Him (p. 71-2).” C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed
“You are secure not because you have control or understanding. You are secure even though you are weak, imperfect, and shortsighted. You are secure for one reason and one reason alone: God exists and he is your Father (p. 31)… The temptation, in times of waiting, is to focus on the things we are waiting for, all the obstacles that are in the way, our inability to make it happen, and all of the other people who haven’t seemed to have had to wait… All of this increases our feeling of helplessness, our tendency to think our situation is hopeless, and our judgment that waiting is futile (p. 48).” Paul Tripp in A Shelter in the Time of Storm.