Books for the Grieving:

Book Reviews


A Grace Disguised

By Gerald Sittser

“Loss came suddenly for Gerald Sittser. In an instant, a tragic accident claimed three generations of his family:  his mother, his wife, and his young daughter…. A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of our sorrows, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love. The circumstances are not important; what we do with those circumstances is. In coming to the end of ourselves, we can come to the beginning of a new life—one marked by spiritual depth, joy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of simple blessings.”  --editor, A Grace Disguised


Not By Accident

By Isabel Fleece

If you have lost a loved one and have struggled with the concept of God’s sovereignty over all things, then I highly recommend this book. The author, Isabel Fleece, lost her teenage son in a tragic car accident. This is her story of pain, questions and finally, resting in the arms of her Heavenly Father.


When There Are No Words: Finding your way to cope with loss and grief

By Charlie Walton

This book was given to us by the social worker in the emergency room where we learned that our son had died. We found it to be a valuable resource for navigating our way through grief. It helped us to know that we were not crazy or abnormal, but in fact we were learning to define our lives by a different standard, a new normal.


Trusting God through Tears

By Jehu Thomas Burton

We highly recommend this book to anyone who has lost a child. “Offering gentle encouragement for the grieving spirit, Trusting God through Tears tells the moving story of a family’s loss and a father’s struggle to trust his Creator in the midst of tremendous pain.”  Editor, Trusting God through Tears


The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God

By John Piper

Be comforted by John Piper’s poetic paraphrase of the story of Job, the man who lost everything yet still trusted God. (The book on CD, read by John Piper is also included.)


The following four books are in a series by John Piper called The Swans Are Not Silent. These books contain stories of great men of faith who endured hardships and suffering yet still trusted God.

The Legacy of Sovereign Joy:  God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin.

The Hidden Smile of God:  The Fruit of Affliction in the Lives of John Bunyan, William Cowper, and David Brainerd

The Roots of Endurance:  Invincible Perseverance in the Lives of John Newton, Charles Simeon, and William Wilberforce

Contending For Our All:  Defending Truth and Treasuring Christ in the Lives of Athanasius, John Owen, and  J. Gresham Machen


From Grief to Glory

By James W. Bruce III

Bruce looks into the lives of men of faith such as Luther, Calvin, Bach and Spurgeon to find words of comfort and encouragement. The words of saints who have experienced suffering give hope to those who walk the path of pain.


Safe in the Arms of God

By John MacArthur

MacArthur offers a compelling argument that young children and infants who die are safe in the arms of God. The scriptures themselves hold the key and answer the question:  What happens to children—those unborn, stillborn, infants, or young children—when they die?  With the warmth of a pastor’s heart, John MacArthur answers this question for hurting parents.


An Early Journey Home

By Mary Ann Froehlich

Froehlich brings fresh insights and warm counsel to families who have lost a child of any age, or who are losing a child through terminal illness. Chapters include Helping through the Illness and Hospitalization, and Helping Patients and Families through the Death. In this book, Froehlich offers invaluable help to people who are in the dark journey of grief. She declares, “God’s promises stand firm. His faithful children are saved and delivered—sometimes from suffering and sometimes through suffering.”


Beside Still Waters:  Words of Comfort for the Soul

By C. H. Spurgeon, Edited by Roy H. Clarke

In the early, dark days of grief it is difficult to concentrate, and often, reading a book is out of the question. That is why a good place to begin is with a devotional style book. Spurgeon himself experienced pain and loss in his own life, and these one page devotionals speak to the griever’s heart. Roy H. Clarke has done fine work in compiling these lessons of comfort and spiritual guidance taken from Spurgeon’s sermons.


How to Help a Grieving Friend:  A Candid Guide for Those Who Care

By Stephanie Grace Whitson

The name of this book says it all. If you are interested in becoming a more effective comforter to anyone who has suffered loss, this book can help. Throughout the book, Whitson addresses the specifics of “How It Feels” and “How to Help”.


Holding On To Hope: a pathway through suffering to the heart of God

By Nancy Guthrie

Nancy Guthrie is a woman of courage and faith, who after the death of two infant children is still Holding on to Hope. Her small book covers a wide range of topics from Loss and Tears to Submission and Worship. Her story is a beautiful picture of Christian grief and the hope that is ours in Christ.


When I Lay My Isaac Down:  Unshakable Faith in Unthinkable Circumstances

By Carol Kent

Carol Kent brilliantly describes her journey through shattering, heart-wrenching circumstances. Her world is torn apart after her 25 year old son commits a murder. She uses the story of Abraham and Isaac to instruct us in the School of Trust and addresses the questions: What if there is no ram in the thicket? Is God still there? Can I trust Him? From Kent’s experience and insights we can learn about the healing powers of redemption and hope.


Knowing God

By J I Packer

Have you ever heard the catch phrase “To know me is to love me”? I don’t think that can really be true of any person because we all come with faults and the baggage of sins and hurts both past and present. But we can say that about God. The more we know Him, the more we love Him. And that is J I Packer’s point and purpose of this his book. A fuller knowledge of God leads to a deeper love for God. Then, when our love of God is based on facts, not feelings, we will worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:23).Knowing God has become a Christian classic, a literary treasure for every Christian.


Trusting God Even When Life Hurts

By Jerry Bridges

In an easy to read style, Jerry Bridges covers topics which every Christian must grapple with. The book includes such chapters as “Can You Trust God?” “Is God in Control?” ”The Sovereignty of God,” “The Wisdom of God” and “Experiencing God’s Love.” The desire of every Christian should be to rest in God, and even in the midst of trials to say with David, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, for he has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:5-6)