While most of us experience grief in some form during our lives, the process differs from person to person—we all grieve in our own way, on our own time.
Some of us may find the beginning of the grieving process much more difficult to overcome, while others may struggle with the later stages. This is okay. As painful as it might feel, grief is a necessary part of healing and helps us grow.
To comfort those experiencing the loss of a loved one, we’ve put together this collection of encouraging Bible verses about grief.
What Does the Bible Say About the Stages of Grief?
As a way to help identify and understand what we may feel, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross developed the five stages of grief. Her model suggests humans experience five stages of grief after a loss: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
The stages above are to be used as a framework, keeping in mind that everyone experiences grief in their own unique way. This framework also begs the question—is it the Word’s way?
The five grief stages track typical grief responses. However, they may not correspond with the Bible’s process for hurting (grieving) and hoping (growing).
The biblical approach to grieving and growing identifies eight scriptural “stages” of our response to life’s losses:
Stages of Hurt
- Denial/Isolation — Candor: Honesty with Myself
- Anger/Resentment — Complaint: Honesty with God
- Bargaining/Works — Cry: Asking God for Help
- Depression/Alienation — Comfort: Receiving God’s Help
Stages of Hope
- Regrouping — Waiting: Trusting with Faith
- Deadening — Wailing: Groaning with Hope
- Despairing/Doubting — Weaving: Perceiving with Grace
- Digging Cisterns — Worshiping: Engaging with Love
Whether you prefer to think of grief in five stages or eight, there are endless Bible verses about grief to help you along the way.
Bible Verses About Grief
Attempting to balance the feelings of pain and loss while moving forward with your daily life can feel extremely difficult. It’s important you be honest with your emotions and not lose hope. Turn to the following Bible verses for ease and comfort as you navigate through the five stages of grief.
- So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. — John 16:22
- I can do all this through him who gives me strength. — Philippians 4:13
- He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. — Revelation 21:4
- I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18
- The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. — Psalm 34:18
Bible Verses About Denial
Denial is the first stage of grief. Many times, our first reaction is to deny the loss of a loved one—a friend, a parent, a child, a spouse or even a pet.
Coming to terms with loss is one of the first steps in our grief process. Our first thought is to deny the news and hope we are imagining the whole situation. While denial is normal during the grieving process, it’s important to remember these Bible verses.
- God is our protection and our strength. He always helps in times of trouble. — Psalm 46:1
- Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. — Joshua 1:9
- If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us. — 2 Timothy 2:12
Bible Verses About Anger
During the anger stage of the grieving process, you may lash out or blame others for your loss.
While it’s perfectly okay to feel angry and vent your feelings, these Bible verses remind us not to allow our anger to affect others. Instead, find healthy ways to express your emotions like going for a walk or venting to a confidant. Find loved ones who will listen to your struggle and encourage you.
- Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger. — Ephesians 4:26
- Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. — Proverbs 16:32
- Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. — Proverbs 14:29
Bible Verses About Bargaining
The bargaining phase of the grieving process is when you may find yourself wishing for a different scenario than the one you just experienced.
When we bargain, we make promises to help us avoid the pain of accepting the situation. We focus on our personal regrets and recall times we may have hurt our lost loved one. However, these Bible verses remind us that God takes us as we are and does not bargain.
- Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. — Ephesians 5:17
- An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up. — Proverbs 12:25
- Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ — Mark 5:36
Bible Verses About Depression
When coping with grief, you might find yourself in a state of depression and deep sadness. At this point, you may feel emotionally and physically removed from your family and friends. It might feel impossible to face the day to day of life, so you choose to remain isolated.
While depression may feel unbearable at times, comfort from those close to you can help ease your sadness. If you or someone you know shows signs of depression, seek help and remember these few Bible verses.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. — Matthew 5:4
- He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. — Psalm 147:3
- He will swallow up death forever. The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces. — Isaiah 25:8
Bible Verses About Acceptance
As difficult as it may be to grieve the loss of a loved one, it does get better. During the acceptance stage of the grief process, you begin to fully acknowledge your loss and allow yourself to move forward.
No matter the difficulty of the previous stages, you will always be able to find Bible verses that will help you through all walks of life.
- 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. — Psalm 23:4
- The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. — Psalm 9:9
- I will be with you always even unto the end of the world. —Matthew 28:20
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