Below are some Scriptures, plus links to other resources, that provide perspective and encouragement at times of loss. These verses are good texts for reading at funerals or at other times in the face of loss of various kinds.
Watch a video of Ken teaching on the subject of hope amidst loss.
If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.
I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; whom I myself will see and behold with my own eyes and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your likeness.
No one who waits for You will be ashamed, but those who are treacherous without cause will be ashamed. Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths; lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation, and my hope is in You all day long.
I would have lost heart unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. I will hope in the Lord and be of good courage, and He will strengthen my heart; yes, I will hope in the Lord.
I have hope in God, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked. In view of this, I strive always to keep my conscience blameless before God and men.
I rejoice in my tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into my heart through the Holy Spirit who was given to me.
1 Corinthians 2:9:
Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor have entered the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him.
1 Corinthians 6:14:
God both raised the Lord and will also raise me up through His power.
1 Corinthians 13:12:
Now I see dimly, as in a mirror, but then I shall see face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
2 Corinthians 4:14:
I know that He who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise me with Jesus and present me in His presence.
2 Corinthians 4:16–18: The Eternal Weight of Glory
I do not lose heart; even though my outward man is perishing, yet my inner man is being renewed day by day. For this light affliction which is momentary is working for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while I do not look at the things which are seen but at the things which are unseen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:1–5:
I know that if my earthly house, or tent, is destroyed, I have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this house I groan, longing to be clothed with my heavenly dwelling, because when I am clothed, I will not be found naked. For while I am in this tent, I groan, being burdened, because I do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made me for this very purpose and has given me the Spirit as a guarantee.
2 Corinthians 5:9–10:
I make it my ambition to please the Lord, whether I am at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
My citizenship is in heaven, from which I also eagerly await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform my lowly body and conform it to His glorious body, according to the exertion of His ability to subject all things to Himself.
1 Thessalonians 4:13–17: Not Grieving as Those Without Hope
We should not be ignorant about those who fall asleep or grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. According to the Lord’s own word, we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
Hebrews 11:13, 16, 26:
By God’s grace I want to live to the end in faith, knowing that I will not receive the promises on earth, but seeing them and welcoming them from a distance, I confess that I am a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth. Instead, I long for a better country, a heavenly one. In this way, God will not be ashamed to be called my God, for He has prepared a city for me. Like Moses, I esteem reproach for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of this world, because I am looking to the reward.
Here I do not have an enduring city, but I am seeking the city that is to come.
1 Peter 1:34: Our Living Hope
Blessed be the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has given me new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, reserved in heaven for me.
1 John 3:2–3:
Now I am a child of God, and what I shall be has not yet been revealed. I know that when He is revealed, I shall be like Him, for I shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
God is able to keep me from falling and to present me before His glorious presence faultless and with great joy.
Other recommended texts for times of loss:
- John Donne’s sonnet “Death, Be Not Proud”
- George Herbert’s poem “Redemption”
- George Herbert’s hymn “Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life” (set to tune of “The Call”)