Grief and Faith Stage 2: Anger

The next stage of grief following shock and denial is often anger. Anger expresses itself with statements like: “This isn’t fair….why couldn’t it have been someone else”.

I know as Christians we like landed answers (For example: tea is better than coffee, soccer is better than baseball😇). Grief and loss often don’t have easy answers. There is often a tension between faith and grief. I know tensions can create turmoil in our soul.  That turmoil can sometimes express itself as anger. 

Anger can be such a very hard part of grief. I have have found many people want to help those who are grieving but those same people push back from those who express anger in their grief. I am sure that part of that is simply we don’t know what to say to people in their anger. There isn’t an easy fix. 

I would suggest this: anger is a normal part of grief. Anger in grief shouldn’t be rejected or judged. If you want to help someone who is angry as they grieve just sit with them and resist the temptation to try and “fix” their situation. Simply be present with them. Just know anger is part of the processing of grief. 

Human suffering and a strong faith in Christ can exist at the same time.  

As people of faith we need to understand that there is no promise that we won’t suffer.

In fact we are told we are going to suffer in James 1 - “consider it pure joy when (not if) you go through trials. We know that God has plans and purposes. But there exists a tension in our lives as we walk through deep valleys. I’ve seen people draw closer to God and I’ve seen people become bitter towards God. The key in the relationship between faith and grief is trust. Trust is the bridge that gaps our understanding between faith and grief. If you are angry in your grief today please know you won’t always feel like you today but let me encourage you to turn what you feel to God. Express your faith and your heart in your honest prayers.  

Anger sometimes comes because we look at others who seem to have it so much better than we do. Psalm 13:2 says - “How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” When pain and suffering comes it seems everyone has a better situation than we do. “my enemy exalted over me” - they are fine and I am not.

Faith doesn’t have all the answers but it trusts the One who does. As one follower of Jesus prayed “Lord, I believe, help my unbelief”. 

Life is a gift, life is precious, and life is brief. Trust Jesus today and hug those you love a little longer before you say good night! And, as always, if I can help, please let me know.