Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Monday, January 18, 2016

Today's Scripture

"And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38-39 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

Death. Something we all have to face. Sometimes it comes unexpectedly. But sometimes people know they are dying. As Christians, what are some things to remember when we are facing death?

Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., has spent most of her professional career working with dying patients in Chicago hospitals. Her observations of the death of both the young and the old have yielded insights of inestimable value to both the dying and those who want to help them in the process. This week we will look at some of those insights(1) and at biblical promises that can bring us hope and peace no matter what the circumstances.

Consider this …

Denial is the initial stage of death a patient experiences when first informed of a terminal illness. Denial carries with it a shock, often accompanied by withdrawal or isolation. "No, it can't be me. . . . There must be some mistake. . . . You must have mixed my tests up with someone else's" are frequent responses in the denial stage.

Denial can be a useful defense mechanism because it is difficult for a person to move from feeling reasonably healthy at one moment only to be confronted with the realization of death as an approaching reality.

If you or someone you care about is facing death, comfort and courage can be found in remembering that Jesus is still with you, and his love is with you—even through death. "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life . . ."

Prayer

Father, thank you for promising to love me in life and in death. Help me to remember that no matter what is happening around me or even within my body, nothing can separate me from your love. Jesus is my savior and I know that with death will come eternity with you. Help me focus on you. In Jesus' name . . .


(1) Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan.


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

 

 

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Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Today's Scripture

"It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies." (1 Corinthians 15:42-44 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

This week we are looking at issues we may have to deal with when we come face-to-face with death. Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross describes stages of dying.(1) Today we are looking at anger.

Anger can be directed in many directions:

  • At God for letting it happen
     
  • At the physician for bringing the bad news

  • At survivors because they are going to continue to live
     
  • At oneself for not taking better precautions against accident or disease

Anger often strikes without warning and is directed indiscriminately. Dr. Billie David has said, "The anger subsides more quickly when it is allowed to run its course with as little reaction from others as possible."(2)

Consider this …

If you are working your way through this kind of anger, you may find help by meditating on today's scripture. This time of pain is temporary. If you belong to Jesus, God promises eternal life . . . glory to replace brokenness  . . .  strength to replace weakness.

If you've never received Jesus as your savior, it's not too late. These promises can be yours if you believe Jesus died on the cross for your sins and reach out to him for forgiveness.

 

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. (Romans 3:22-25 NLT)

Prayer

Lord, thank you for being with me even while I work through this time of anger. I do believe your son, Jesus, died on the cross for my sins. Please forgive me and receive me as your child. In Jesus' name . . .



(1) Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan.
(2) Davis, Billie C. (1984). Teaching to Meet Crisis Needs. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, p. 93.


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

 

 

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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Today's Scripture

"Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

This week we have been looking at stages of dying based on observations by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.(1), who has spent most of her professional career working with dying patients in Chicago hospitals. We are also looking at a few scriptures that offer help and hope during these difficult times.

We've talked about denial, anger, and bargaining. Today we are looking at depression. The depression may be intense or only a blue mood. This is influenced by the patient's view of life and life after death. It is not unusual for it to develop into a clinical depression that warrants psychiatric intervention. The depression may be complicated by worrying about the money being spent in treatment or the time lost from work. More often the depressed thoughts will focus on being separated from one's family.

Consider this …

Today's scripture can be such a comfort during difficult times. God tells us not to be afraid or discouraged. Why? Because he is with us. Because he is our God. Because he will strengthen and help us. And because he will hold us up with his victorious right hand.

When Jesus was walking on the water and Peter walked toward him, the disciple walked on the water as long as his focus was on Jesus. But then he looked at the waves. Doubt overtook him and he began to sink. (See Matthew 14:22-33.)

That same truth applies to life, even when we are facing death. When we keep our eyes focused on Jesus, his power, his love, his strength, his promises . . . we are comforted. But if we shift our focus to the problems and our inability to deal with them, our faith diminishes and we can easily sink into depression. 

Prayer

Father, help me focus on you. Help me focus on Jesus' love and strength and caring. Help me remember he is with me every moment and will make this walk possible. In his name . . .


(1) Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan.

 


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

 

 

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©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Today's Scripture

"I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." (Words of Jesus in John 14:27)

Thoughts for Today

Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., has spent most of her professional career working with dying patients in Chicago hospitals. Her observations of death have yielded insights of inestimable value to both the dying and those who want to assist them in the process.(1)

This week we are looking at stages many people go through as they face death. We've looked at denial and anger, and today we'll look at bargaining.

This is a stage of quiet guilt. It involves psychological negotiations for more time, for another chance at life. Some patients with a terminal illness think if they act more "correctly," they will win an extension of life. Not everyone bargains, but "the promise of good behavior in exchange for longer life may motivate a significant portion of the dying individual's behavior."(2)

Consider this …

People experiencing this kind of struggle can experience peace only as they are able to trust Jesus. His love. His caring—for both them and their loved ones. Jesus offers peace in every situation, even during the most heartbreaking and difficult times. Peace that can be found nowhere else. He encourages us not to be troubled or afraid but to keep our eyes on him. He will help us work through all the fear and doubt.

Prayer

Lord, thank you for the peace Jesus offers us. Help me find that peace by trusting his love, his plan. In his name . . .



(1) Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan.
(2) Coleman, J. C., and Glaros, A. G. (1983). Contemporary Psychology and Effective Behavior (5th ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott Foresman & Company, p. 116.

 


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

 

 

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Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Living Free Every Day®
A ministry of
LivingFree.org

Friday, January 22, 2016

Today's Scripture

"But I will keep on hoping for your help; I will praise you more and more." (Psalm 71:14 NLT)

Thoughts for Today

So far this week we've looked at four stages of dying based on the observations of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D.(1) First denial, then anger, bargaining, and depression. We conclude today with acceptance.

When the patient accepts the fact of impending death, he or she can put personal affairs in order. "Acceptance is a final stage of rest before the terminal experience."(2) Put another way, "In essence we have said goodbye to the world and to our families and loved ones and now wish to die. Having detached ourselves from the world and from our important relationships, death becomes a great relief."(3)

Consider this …

Acceptance does not have to mean giving up hope. Running through the stage of acceptance is a conscious or unconscious hope for a remission, a healing, or a miraculous deliverance. A patient without this unyielding hope degenerates rapidly. Like the psalmist in today's Scripture . . . keep on hoping. Trust God. Trust his plan.

Surrendering to the sovereignty of God makes the death of the believer a testimony to the world of the mystical relationship between Christ and his church.

A former hospital administrator said, "I have observed hundreds of terminal patients and witnessed scores of deaths. It has been spiritually moving to witness the death of saints who slipped into the arms of their Maker. It has also been a grueling experience when the intrinsic faith was not present to sustain dying people in the hour of their death."(4)

Prayer

Father, my hope is in Jesus. Help me, like the psalmist, to keep on hoping. No matter what the circumstances, I will trust you and praise you. In Jesus' name . . .


(1) Kubler-Ross, Elizabeth (1969). On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan.
(2) Brock, Raymond T. (1988). Death, Dying, and Bereavement. In Gilbert, Marvin G. & Brock, Raymond T. The Holy Spirit and Counseling, Vol. II. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, p. 162.
(3) Coleman, J. C., & Glaros, A. G. (1983). Contemporary Psychology and Effective Behavior (5th ed.). Glenview, IL: Scott Foresmen & Company, IL, p. 116.
(4) Brock, op. cit., p. 162.

 


These thoughts were drawn from …

 

Handling Loss and Grief: How to Face Losses in Life and Grieve Christianly by Raymond T. Brock, Ed.D. This study teaches participants what the Bible has to say about handling the losses of life. It offers biblical coping methods for facing loss.


We hope these devotions are a blessing to you and to others in your life. We are happy to provide them for you at no cost, but thought you might want to consider a donation to help our ministry with the expense involved. You can safely donate through our website . Thank you!


 

 

 

Living Free Facebook Community
Visit us on Facebook!


©Living Free 2007. Living Free is a registered trademark. Living Free Every Day® devotionals may be reproduced for personal use. When reproduced to share with others, please acknowledge the source as Living Free, Chattanooga, TN, www.LivingFree.org. Must have written permission to use in any format to be sold. Permission may be requested by sending an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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