4 Must-Read Books for Grieving Christians

 Photo by Sherry Zhu on  Unsplash

Photo by Sherry Zhu on Unsplash

When my son died twelve years ago, it was hard—even painful—for me to read my Bible. While I knew other bereaved parents and had struggled to understand why God would allow the death of their child to occur, it became all too real when my family experienced the same excruciating loss. Grieving people can be filled with doubts and questions. These four books are a lifeline of much needed comfort, wisdom, and encouragement for Christians who are struggling to hold on to their faith:

1. A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss by Jerry L. Sittser

A close friend of mine (who is also a bereaved parent) gave me this book right after my son died. I cannot adequately express the comfort I received from reading this firsthand account by someone who lost his wife, mother, and young daughter in a car accident due to a drunk driver. Jerry Sittser made me feel like I was not alone and that there was someone who understood my loss. This book will help grieving Christians to see God's sovereign and loving hand in the most difficult moments of life.

2. A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis

These reflections by C. S. Lewis weren't written to be published, but thankfully they were anyway. Lewis gives a raw account of his doubts regarding his Christian faith after losing his wife Joy to cancer. Lewis also finds his hope in God, and encourages us to do the same along the way.

3. Immortality by Loraine Boettner

In this gem of a book first published in 1956, theologian Loraine Boettner (1901-1990) explains what the Bible says about life after death versus alternate views that are unsupported by Scripture. Be sure to read the section on why Christians should not want their loved ones who die in the Lord to return to this present world. Boettner helps believers to hold less tightly to this world and hope more in the glorious future that awaits them as God's children.

4. The Crook in the Lot by Thomas Boston

Scottish theologian Thomas Boston (1676–1732) buried six of his ten children, and his wife most likely suffered from a longterm mental illness. Based on a seven-part sermon series Boston preached on Ecclesiates 7:13, The Crook in the Lot gives one of the most thorough, helpful, and comforting explanations ever written on God's sovereignty and wisdom in the afflictions we face in this life. You can buy the book by clicking on the title above, or you can print out the three-part exposition at iclnet.org like I did. I carried one of the sections around with me everywhere I went for months after my son died. Every Christian will benefit greatly from this resource. 

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