- Believe that Mankind remains broken and depraved, apart from Christ Jesus.- The total depravity of man is seen throughout the Bible. Man’s heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). The Bible also teaches us that man is born dead in transgression and sin (Psalm 51:5, Psalm 58:3, Ephesians 2:1-5). We want to excuse violent, depraved acts of murder with mental health, drugs, or demonic influence. We don’t want to think that anyone, especially us, is capable of such horrific depraved acts, but the reality remains we are fully capable of committing depraved acts of murder and much worse all on our own!
- Be Comforted that God alone understands your emotional trauma and suffering.- God’s son had to endure the excruciating pain of being crucified on the cross. God the Father and Holy Spirit had to endure the trauma and suffering of Jesus the son being violently executed by men who hated him. God alone understands the emotional pain you endure.
- Be renewed through God’s sustaining because His grace is enough.- The Apostle Paul was given a thorn in the flesh. This thorn kept him humble all the days of his life. In many ways a tragic murder is a very humbling experience, the feeling of shock and disorientation. We are reminded we are not in control of our lives nor this world. Then the grief sets in, it feels much like a thorn in the heart. Paul said this,
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” –I Corinthians 12:9-10
- Don’t move on, move forward.- As a pastor and GriefShare leader, I often hear the stupid things people say to the grieving. One of those statements is “just move on.” I will be the first to admit, it is quite possible to get stuck in grief, but after an event like one’s life changes for the rest of our days. We can move forward taking the good memories of our loved ones, their examples of good they modeled, and continue their legacy. One who has suffered loss to this degree is forever changed.