It's often difficult to find the right words of comfort when someone has suffered the loss of a friend or family member. It is important to offer sympathy when someone you know has lost a loved one to death. However, many find comfort in the Bible, and a verse that expresses sympathy may bring just the type of comfort that's needed. The verses below are all taken from the New International Version.
The Bible offers many specific words of comfort for those in pain.
- Lamentations 3:31-32 - For the Lord will not cast off forever, but. . . he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.
- Isaiah 49:13 - For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.
- Psalms 9:9 - The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.
- Psalms 30:2 - O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
- Psalms 46:1 - God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
- Psalms 62:1 - My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him.
- Psalms 147:3 - He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
- Luke 6:21 - Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
- John 16:22 - So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father. . .who comforts us in all our affliction. . .
A reminder of God's love can help someone who is grieving.
- Genesis 28:15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. . . I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
- Psalms 48:14 - For this God is our God forever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.
Psalms 136:26 - Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Matthew 6:8 - For your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
- 1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Grace and Compassion
Remembering and experiencing God's grace can bring great comfort.
- Isaiah 58:11 - The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs. . . You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
- Psalms 109:21-22 - But you, O Sovereign Lord, deal well with me for your name's sake; out of the goodness of your love, deliver me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.
- Psalms 116:5-6 - The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the simple-hearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.
- 1 Peter 5:10 - And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
- Hebrews 4:16 - Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
- Psalms 57:1-2 - Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.
The Bible has much to say about sorrow, which can provide comfort after loss.
- Psalms 34:18 - The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.
- Psalms 72:12 - For he will deliver the needy who cry out, the afflicted who have no one to help.
- Psalms 73:26 - My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.
- Psalms 119:50 - My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life.
- Psalms 139:12 - Even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.
- Matthew 5:4 - Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- Matthew 11:28-30 - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. . . My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
- John 14:27 - Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
- Revelation 21:4 - He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
The Bible offers many words of reassurance.
- Deuteronomy 31:8 - The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 58:9 - Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
- Psalms 23:4 - Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
- Psalms 126:5-6 - Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
- Romans 8:28 - All things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
2 Thessalonians 3:16 - Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way.
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Writing Heartfelt Sympathy
A blank card with a drawing or picture of a serene scene such as a sunset or mountain at dusk is appropriate to use for writing your heartfelt sentiments. Choose a card you think your friend would like. If you aren't sure, find a card that you like. Spend some time selecting the Bible verse you want to include in the message of your card. Add a personal note as well. Let your family member or friend know that you are sorry that she has had to experience the death of a close loved one. While the words from the Bible can be soothing to many, make sure you also show your bereaved friend comfort in other ways. Your compassion with her is a beautiful gift.