Blake started out scribbling in cards over 30 years ago. Though his handwriting is mostly unchanged, the content has improved.
Whether you find yourself wondering how to console someone for grief resulting from death, pain, or any other loss, using the scripture can be one of the best ways to encourage a grieving person.
The beautiful, powerful, and hopeful text of the Bible can be a meaningful condolence for anyone, especially those who believe in God's power. Grief is a time that leads to questioning the meaning of existence, and the Bible is one way to understand meaning in life and in loss. Some verses work well as offerings of condolences to someone who is suffering and questioning.
Below you will find a few of these verses with a little background to help make them easy to understand.
Tips for Using Bible Verses as Condolences
- When using a verse from the Bible as your condolence, you don't necessarily have to write anything else. However, it can be nice to add some context or personal interpretation for the verse, since the person you are consoling may not be thinking as clearly as he or she normally does.
- Don't just write "Psalm 23" in the card—write out the entire verse. This is important because you enable the person to immediately read the verse without having to look it up. Make your condolences easy.
- Don't preach: feel free to add your own interpretation of the verse for the situation, but be careful not to preach to the person. There is a fine line between explanation and being pushy when you use verses. Remember that you are trying to comfort, not condemn.
In the Words of Jesus
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
This Bible quote comes from straight from Jesus, from when he was teaching the disciples. This is a sliver of what is called the Beatitudes. It can become a message of condolence when someone has died.
"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."
This is appropriate for people who may be having a difficult time in their lives. Condolences are tough when you can't see any hope for the person's situation, but this verse sends a message of hope and encourages perseverance.
For Finding Future Comfort
"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 book of Revelation is set in the future. This is an especially meaningful and powerful condolence message for Christians who believe that one day God will fulfill this "Revelation."
From the Bible's Songwriter, David
"He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul."
Just reading this beautiful imagery gives a sense of calm and peace. Refreshing a struggling person's soul with this condolence could be helpful. These words come from the Psalmist, David, who is known as a man after God's own heart. Yes, it's the same David who killed Goliath the giant. Although events in his life didn't always work out so great, his Psalms are filled with emotion, like any good songwriting. This imagery likely comes from David's experience as a shepherd.
Condolences for Christians
"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him."
—1 Thessalonians 4
This is a direct message to Christians who are grieving the loss of a fellow Christian. The only problem is that even when Christians have faith and hope, they still feel the painful sting of the loss of someone close in this life. This is a good verse to use in conjunction with a nice encouraging message of sympathy.
Tim Truzy from U.S.A. on August 18, 2019:
Thank you, Blake. These are indeed beautiful verses from the Holy Text. Good advice at the beginning of the article as well.
cynthia on December 14, 2018:
Thank you! this is wonderfully well thought out and explained.
Perol Juwel on August 02, 2018:
So nice...just loss a friend like a blood sister...Oh God. Thanks for sharing....
Doris H. Dancy from Yorktown, Virginia on January 11, 2015:
I love to read the scriptures and, like you, I use them quite often when friends are on their mountain top or find themselves in a lowly valley. Wherever they are, I think you are very correct in helping them through this life with the Word of God. Your examples are excellent, and I enjoyed reading them.
Fhatuwani Joyce on August 04, 2011:
Thanks a lot for the scriptures. I will share this with my friends as we are in the middle of mourning for our dearest friend
Abound from Rocky Mountains on June 23, 2011:
Tthis was so helpful today. I love the word of God and attempt to read it daily. Writing is worth it, however in my humaness I delay this critical step at times. You reminded me of the power in paper to pen. God Bless. Abound
Temirah on June 14, 2011:
This is one for saving and coming back to when I need it. It's a beautiful hub and you're so right when you say 'you don't necessarily have to write anything else'. The bible says most things better and people don't need gushing words when they're bereaved - just to know you're there for them.
C-Bless from Canada on May 31, 2011:
A beautiful and well-written article. It was a joyful read. Thank you for sharing...
almasi on January 08, 2011:
Thank you for sharing.
Annette R. Smith from Ocala, Florida on December 08, 2010:
Blake, thank you for sharing these beautiful verses.
Sam from Tennessee on December 01, 2010:
voted up & beautiful! Well written and informative. Very good ideas here. One can never go wrong by searching God's Word...