Saturday, August 17, 2019

Mourning Comes

When Mourning Comes

Mourning is part of life. Solomon writes, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.” (Ecclesiastes 3:4) When we experience temporary separation from our loved ones when they enter their heavenly home mourning is as natural as breathing. Our knowledge that they will never again surfer pain, illness or sorrow does not diminish the loss of their presence we feel in our lives.

When we—or a loved one—experience the loss of a dream the pain of mourning is less intense but just as real. Jesus promises, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

When mourning comes we must look to our Lord in faith. In Psalm 42 (attributed to the Sons of Korah) intense feelings of being ‘downcast” are expressed several times. At one point the Psalmist writes, “My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” The Psalmist was distraught because of the taunts of his enemies but found hope amidst his trials by knowing this: “By day he directs his love, at night his song is with me.” (Psalm 42:8) Hannah faced the taunts of Peninnah concerning her barrenness (I Samuel l:2-8). Rather than continuing to mourn over her situation, Hannah took the matter to her Lord in prayer, promising to give a son to the Lord all the days of his life (I Samuel 1:11). Our Lord turned Hannah’s mourning into joy with Samuel’s arrival and she kept her promise to our Lord.

Mourning will also call that we turn to our Lord in repentance. William Barclay in his comments on
Matthew 5:4 in his Daily Study Bible, writes that mourning for our sin is appropriate. Whether it is what we do that we shouldn’t have done or don’t do what we should do (the dilemma Paul writes about in Romans 7:16-25) it is entirely appropriate to grieve over it, repent of it and turn to our Lord in faith asking Him to forgive us. When we do that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (I John 1:9). Our Lord turns that mourning into the joy He wants us to have.

Our Lord knows we will experience mourning but He doesn’t want us to live like mourners throughout life. He wants us to have the kind of joy that comes only through Him and through His love. Praise God for love like that that turns mourning into joy!

David Oldfather

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