Use these Bible Verses about Mourning the Loss of a Loved One during your own time of grief or to comfort those who are experiencing loss.
Bible Verses for a Grieving Heart
I visited my mom’s grave last week.
She died over a year ago, but since I live in another state I’ve only been there a couple times.
Honestly, even if I lived nearby I probably wouldn’t go often. My dad’s been dead over 20 years and I’ve only visited his grave a handful of times.
This isn’t for lack of love for him. The graveside isn’t where the process happens for me. It’s a place where there’s a body but I know he’s not there.
The visit to my mom’s grave was similar. We went as a family and it felt good to go. I was glad I went, but I didn’t feel a connect to her there.
This reminds me of how painful grief is. If you or someone you love is mourning the loss of a loved one, you aren’t alone in your grief. Many of us are experiencing it along with you, and most of all God is there for comfort in a way only He can provide.
Scripture for Grief
1. Psalm 23 – The Lord is my Shepherd.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
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.
You prepare a table before mePsalm 23
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
Perhaps one of the most well-known verses in all of scripture, the 23rd Psalm is a meaningful passage for grief or to comfort someone who is facing death. This passage is often read at funerals and is meaningful to write in a sympathy card. This beautiful poem is a reminder that God comforts us in our time of sadness and loss.
2. Revelation 21:4 – He will wipe away every tear.
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.Revelation 21:4
This promise from Revelation is one of the most meaningful to me to offer words of comfort for the bereaved. Are you looking for meaningful scripture to share with grieving parents, for the loss of a friend, or someone who has lost a loved one? Revelation 21 reminds us that someday we will be a better place where there is no more need for tears and sadness.
3. Psalm 34:18 – God is near to the brokenhearted.
The Lord is near to the brokenheartedPsalm 34:18
and saves the crushed in spirit.
Do you feel isolated in your grief? Maybe you don’t have anyone who shares your loss and you feel lonely.
My dad died unexpectedly when I was just 20 years old. At the time I was living in another state as my husband completed his vicarage to become a pastor. While our congregation members were sympathetic, they hadn’t known my father and I felt alone with few friends to talk to about my loss.
If you are going through a similar situation, know that God is near to you during this difficult time.
4. John 11:25 – I am the resurrection and the life.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.”John 11:25
Jesus gives us the ultimate reassurance and comfort in our time of loss from this passage in John 11. Yes, we will face death in this earthly life because of sin, but death is not the end point.
Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we have the assurance of eternal life with God. Death is not a “goodbye” but a “see you again”. This doesn’t take our grief and sadness away, but it does make it easier to bear.
5. Psalm 9:9 – The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,Psalm 9:9
a stronghold in times of trouble.
The Lord is a stronghold. A stronghold is a “a place that has been fortified so as to protect it against attack.” Despite deep sadness, those who grief have protection.
One of the things I’ve learned is that time does not heal all wounds. Grief does not go away. It changes over time, but rather than going away, it becomes part of who we are. As you consider how grief will shape and mold you, know that God is there to bring you peace and protection.
6. Isaiah 25:8 – He will swallow up death forever.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.Isaiah 25:8
Similar to the passage in Revelation about God wiping away all tears, this passage in Isaiah assures us that God will swallow up death forever. Someday there will be a time when there will be no more death, sadness or pain. We look forward to that time with expectation and hope.
7. Luke 23:43 – Today you will be with me in paradise.
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”Luke 23:43
When Jesus was hanging on the cross, there were also two thieves being hung to die, one on his right and one on his left. One mocked him, but the other professed his faith. To the one who showed faith, Jesus promised that he would meet this man in paradise.
The word “today” brings me so much comfort. It tells me that when we die, we will be with Jesus immediately. We don’t have to wait, go to purgatory or go to a place of judgement. Those who trust Jesus as their Savior will be with Him in eternal life.
8. Matthew 11:28-30 – My burden is light.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.Matthew 11:28-30
Are you feeling deeply burdened by grief and trouble? At times grief has left me exhausted. There were times that simply getting out of bed, getting dressed, and facing the day felt like all I could accomplish (if I could accomplish that).
If you are going through a time of deep grief, give yourself grace that grief is a full-time job at first. You won’t be able to get everything done that you typically do. Allow yourself to get done what you can, and realize that sometimes simply making it through the day is all that needs to be on your to-do list.
9. John 10-11 – I am the good shepherd.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.John 10:10-11
In John 10:10, we are given a beautiful picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Jesus is there to protect and care for each of us. This Bible passage is especially helpful for children who are grieving, or parents who are grieving the loss of a child, because of the vivid word picture it creates.
10. Romans 5:3-5 – We rejoice in our sufferings.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.Romans 5:3-5
While this verse is meaningful for me, I also have to be honest and say sometimes it’s tough to read. I don’t want character – I want my grief to be gone! Yet I see that going through this difficult time is part of how God is molding me into the person He wants me to be.
Christian hope is different from worldly hope. It’s not just a wish that something good will help. We wait with joyful expectation, knowing God will fulfill every promise He makes.
11. Psalm 42:5 – Hope in God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,Psalm 42:5
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.
It’s one thing to have faith when life is going well. When you are facing the loss of a loved one, clinging to hope is difficult. This psalm about grief is an encouragement. When you feel turmoil and feel downcast, put your hope in God.
In fact, we are encouraged to praise God in the storms of life. This is an area where I’ve grown in the past few years. I look for ways to find gratitude and give God praise, even in the darkest of times.
12. Isaiah 40:30-31 – Mount up on wings like eagles.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,Isaiah 40:30-31
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for 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.
Do you feel overwhelmed by grief? I remember the night my dad died and some friends came to stay with us at the house. I hadn’t eaten anything and one offered me an apple, the only thing that sounded good. I was so overhwlmed with grief that eating a whole apple was more than I could wrap my brain around accomplishing. She offered to cut it up for me and then I could eat it. That’s how all-consuming my anguish was in those early hours.
If grief has overtaking your life, give yourself grace that processing through it is your most important job right now. Be kind to yourself if you feel like you have little endurance or strength to get much done. All of that will come in time as God renews your strength.
Something I didn’t understand about grief, until I had experienced is, is that there is so much more to grieve than saying goodbye to someone you love. Often your whole life changes. Relationships change. Financial and living situations may shift. You may be saying goodbye to a job, church or a house you love. God will give you strength for each of these challenges.
13. Romans 8:38-39 – Neither death nor life will be able to separate you from God.
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
Nothing in all of creation – even death – can separate you from God. Trust in this promise today.
14. Lamentations 3:31-33 – Though he brings grief, he will show compassion.
For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
for he does not afflict from his heart
or grieve the children of men.Lamentations 3:31-33
The NIV (New International Version) of this old testament passage translates this as, “though he brings grief, he will show compassion.” I admit this is difficult for me to understand. God brings us grief? How can a loving God allow bad things to happen? Can a good God create a world where there is death?
I don’t have all the answers to those questions, but what I know is that God is good and He promises to carry you through.
15. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 – We do not grieve as those who have no hope.
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.1 Thessalonians 4:13
When my mom died, this passage from 1 Thessalonians was the one that brought me the most comfort. As a pastor’s wife, I have attended many funerals. I see a striking difference in the funerals of Christian families vs. non-Christians. This isn’t a judgement, simply an observation.
As Christians who trust in Jesus, we are deeply sad but we aren’t overwhelmed with grief. We don’t cling to the person as if this is the last goodbye. We know that we will see our loved ones again.
16. 2 Corinthians 4:14 – You will be raised.
…knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.2 Corinthians 4:14
This passage brings so much comfort for those who are bereaved because it’s a promise from God that the person we are mourning is now in the presence of Jesus. As much as I want my loved one back with me, I also take great comfort in knowing they are experiencing ultimate joy and peace at the throne of God.
17. Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Matthew 5:4
This passage from Matthew 5 is part of the Beatitudes from Jesus’ sermon on the mount. All of the Beautitues are a reminder that Jesus does not bring us joy in the ways that the world does – in fact often it’s quite the opposite. How can we be blessed if we are mourning?
God Questions explains it this way. We mourn over our sin. We mourn over the brokenness of our world, which includes death. Yet we will receive the greatest comfort from the Holy Spirit and by trusting in Jesus as our Savior.
18. John 14:1-3 – I go to prepare a place for you.
Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.John 14:1-3
This passage brings me comfort when I mourn the loss of a loved one because it’s a reminder that Jesus has a place in eternal life for each of us who trust in Him. We will have ultimate joy there because we will be continually in God’s presence.
19. 1 Corinthians 15:54-55 – O death, where is your victory?
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”1 Corinthians 15:54-55
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
In this life, it certainly seems like death has victory. People get sick and die. We fear death and the pain that comes with it.
Yet this scripture verse reminds us that something greater is at work. Death will not have true victory because Jesus claimed victory the day He rose from the grave. Death has no power over us.
20. Psalm 73:26 – God is the strength of my heart forever.
My flesh and my heart may fail,Psalm 73:26
but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
Psalm 73 is a meaningful psalm for grief. In fact, this was one of the passages read at my father’s funeral. He died of heart disease and this scripture was especially meaningful to us.
Are you going through a difficult time of mourning and loss? Use these comforting bible verses about death to provide you hope and healing.
Which Bible passages are most meaningful to you at the loss of a loved one? Share in the comments below.