A person can go through the stages of grief because of losing a loved one to death.
They can also grieve when they discover they have lost their health to an incurable disease or a loved one has a terminal illness.
They can also grieve when lose their spouse through adultery or any other reason.
Regardless of the cause of your grief, use the following tips from the Bible to help you manage it:
DenialThe first stage of grief is Denial.
In this stage the person does not want to accept the truth of their situation and they bury their head in the sand because they do not want to accept reality like this cat.
The person is shocked and is bound to say, "I cannot believe that this is happening to me" because they truly cannot believe that it is happening and yet it has already happened.
Denial Stage TipsDo not speak negatively about your situation since The power of death and life is in the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21)
Learn from the Shunammite woman whose son died suddenly because she did not utter negative words about her situation.
This woman had conceived her son miraculously after Elisha prophesied over her when she did not have a son and her husband was old.
After giving birth to this precious child, one day, he developed a headache when he was out in the field with his father. His dad sent him back home to his mother and he died that same day while she held him.
This Shunammite woman asked her husband for transport (a donkey and a young man) so that she could go to see the prophet Elisha who was at Mount Carmel and when he inquired why she was going to see him, she replied It is well (2 Kings 4:23)
When Elisha saw her coming, he sent his servant to inquire whether all was well with her herself, her husband and her child and she replied It is well (2 Kings 4:26)
When she got to the man of God himself, this woman told him about her situation and he went and raised her son back to life. (2 Kings 4:8-37)
Therefore if you are in the denial stage of grief after losing something precious (e.g. a spouse, child, job, scholarship, etc) do not entrench the negativity of the situation with your words while you are still deciding what you will do about it.
Avoid spreading the bad news to people until you have talked through the issue with God and determined what you will do about it.
AngerThe second stage of grief is Anger.
In this stage the person becomes angry and frustrated that the situation has happened and is still continuing to happen.
The person is bound to say, "Why is this happening to me? This is just not fair" because they are disturbed because it has happened.
They also tend to pour out their anger on those who are around them and even to God.
Anger Stage TipsUse the power in your anger constructively to fight spiritually for what you have lost.
For example if you have "lost" your spouse to a young floozy or an experienced cougar, channel your anger into your prayers so that you can say fervent prayers as you wage spiritual warfare to fight for your marriage because The effective fervent prayers of a righteous person availeth much. (James 5:16)
Even if people have caused the loss that is making you grieve, do not waste your time directing the force of your anger on them because We do not wrestle against flesh and blood (fellow human beings) but we wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)
Therefore direct the force of your anger against these spiritual powers, rulers and armies by praying fervent prayers.
BargainingThe third stage of grief is Bargaining.
In this stage the person starts bargaining and seeking a compromise for the situation to change.
The person wants their life restored and they are bound to say, "If you stop this situation, I will do ..." because they want the situation to end.
Bargaining Stage Tips
When praying, you can consider bargaining with God like Hannah.
Hannah bargained with God when she was praying for a son by promising Him that she would return the son to Him to serve Him. (1 Samuel 1:11)
However When you do make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it because He has no pleasure with fools. Pay what you have vowed for it is better not to vow than to vow and not pay. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-5)
DepressionThe fourth stage of grief is Depression.
In this stage the person becomes depressed because they have accepted that the situation will never change.
A person is bound to say, "There is no point trying since it will never end" because they truly believe that it will never change.
Their behavior may also change as they turn away from the people around them and even change their names like Naomi (which means pleasant) who wanted people to call her Mara (which means bitter) when she returned home after losing her husband and two sons. (Ruth 1:21)
Depression Stage Tips
Jonah was in a depressing situation when he found himself in the belly of the whale and he prayed for he says, “When my soul fainted inside me, I remembered you God and my prayer went up to You in Your holy Temple.” (Jonah 2:7)
Therefore pray when you find yourself in the depression stage of grief. For example you can pray the following Christian anti-depression prayer.
Save me O my God!
Because problems have come up to my neck.
I am sinking in deep depression,
I am in deep trouble and problems overwhelm me.
I am tired of crying and my prayer is to You.
O Lord, in the multitude of Your mercy hear me.
Deliver me from this ditch of depression and do not let me sink in it.
Deliver me from those who hate me and help me out of these deep troubles.
Do not let problems overwhelm me and do not let depression swallow me up.
(Adapted from Psalm 69)
AcceptanceThe fifth stage of grief is Acceptance.
In this stage the person accepts the situation as an unchangeable fact of their life.
The person is bound to say, "I will just have to learn how to live with this terrible situation" because they truly have accepted it as their new reality.
Their behavior may also change as they deal with the people around them with calm resignation like this cat.
Acceptance Stage Tips
One of the best ways of dealing with a terrible, unchangeable situation after praying for God's help is to emulate David for David encouraged himself in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6) when he came home and found that his wives had been kidnapped, his home burnt down and his men wanted to kill him.
To encourage yourself in the Lord, speak affirmations from the Bible over yourself like:
God will not leave me or forsake me. (Adapted Joshua 1:5)
I can do all thing through Jesus Christ who loves me. (Philippians 4:13)
I will not be afraid because God is with me.
I will not be dismayed because The Lord is my God.
God will strengthen me.
God will help me.
God will uphold me with His righteous right hand. (Adapted Isaiah 41:10)