Extreme pain—terrible loss—indescribable suffering! These are just a few of the feelings and emotions felt by parents who have lost a child. Obviously, there is nothing that can alleviate that pain except for consolation from the Lord, the love of family and friends, and the passing of time. God’s word is one of the tools that he uses, though, to comfort us during times of terrible grief and mourning. Here are my top 7 comforting Bible verses for those who have lost a child.
Psalm 30:11 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness…”
God not only sympathizes with us when we suffer, but he also empathizes with us as well. His son died on the cross for our sins. So his love for us has an incredible way of turning things around on our behalf. Where there is grief and loss, God brings soothing and relief. Where there is pain and suffering, he brings peace and hope. Only he can turn our mourning into dancing and clothe us with gladness instead of despair during our darkest hours.
Psalm 103:3 “who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…”
The book of Psalms has always been inspiring to me, because David wrote it as a man who had endured suffering as well as great successes in his life. He knew what it was like to suffer the loss of a child, and in this chapter he reminds us that it is God who redeems our life from the pit. Whether it is a pit of emotional despair over a loss or an illness, it is the Lord that will pick us up and take us out of the depths of sadness. He will also crown us with his steadfast love and mercy—both symbols of hope and reassurance.
Isaiah 61:3 “…to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.”
God’s heart grieves with those who are suffering, and he looks for ways to bring solace and consolation to us in the midst of those times. This verse reminds us of how he wants to bless us by turning things around in our circumstances. He cheers us by giving us a beautiful crown instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit. In Jeremiah 31:13b, the Lord also reassures us by sharing, “I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.” In other words, he brings us hope.
Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
This has always been a favorite passage for anyone suffering through pain and loss, as it reminds us that God is always with us. He knows what it is like to walk through the valley of death, so he is quick to comfort us. The Lord wants to take away our fear as well, as his perfect love casts out fear.
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Part of our human condition and existence is the fact that we will suffer loss during our lifetime. Here in the passage commonly referred to as the beatitudes, the Lord reminds us that all those who mourn will be blessed and comforted. If he takes care of the birds of the air, how much more will he offer us consolation when we need it.
2 Corinthians 1:5 “For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
This is one of my top verses, because it reminds us that Christ suffered the ultimate punishment for our sins while dying on the cross, and that we will also share in suffering as well. However, even though we will endure pain and loss in this life, we also will share in his comfort. The apostle Paul goes on to write in 2 Corinthians 13:11, “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” This verse speaks to me about how we can also encourage and console one another as well.
Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Hope—the Lord reminds us here about the second coming of the Lord, and the ultimate hope and comfort we will experience upon his return. At that point, he will wipe away all of our tears and offer us the relief and reassurance we need. He will take away our mourning and our loss, as death will finally be defeated. On that day, we will be able to rejoice fully knowing that all of our former suffering will be behind us forever.
It might seem impossible for the extreme sadness and grief we feel at the loss of a child to ever diminish or decrease; however, the Lord is our hope and our salvation, and he can turn our mourning into comfort. God wants to encourage us and relieve our suffering if we will just go to him at all times. And his word is powerful enough to bring healing and solace even during our darkest hours.