Tag Archives: Trials

They that Mourn

June 5, 2014

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The Sermon On the Mount - 1877 - Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834–1890)

The Sermon On the Mount – 1877 – Carl Heinrich Bloch (1834–1890)

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4 ESV

This beatitude is one I’ve been asked about a number of times over the years. It means literally, “Happy are those who are grieving.”

This sounds like a contradiction, but God has never made it a secret that Christians will sometimes have to grieve. He has instructed us to make the best of it because it is all part of his plan.

What are the ways that this could possibly be true?

  • Hard times mature our patience (Romans 5:3-4) – We need to go through the challenges of life to be able to appreciate life.
  • It grows the fruit of righteousness (Hebrews 12:11) – If we did not fall on hard times, we would soon forget how much we need God.
  • Godly sorrow will lead to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10) – Being those that grieve about sin helps us find our way back to God.

Jesus’ promise of comfort in troubling times is certainly a precious gift. Mourning is an emotion that can cause us to act on some serious matters:

  • Christians should mourn the sinful world
  • We mourn our own sins
  • We mourn the family and friends who are lost

You see, only those convinced of the sinfulness of sin will ever be sorrowful for their separation from God and seek a remedy – much like one who is not sick does not seek out a physician. The Great Physician says “Come Unto Me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

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October 11, 2013

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Soldiers that haven’t been to battle do not know how they are going to perform when they are called to duty. The truly great soldiers grew through a continuous cycle of training and action and reflection (They call it debriefing.)

Being challenged is part of life. How we respond is where we grow.

Being challenged is part of life. How we respond is where we grow.

We can go to Romans 5:1-11 for comfort when we face trials and sufferings. Any one of us should be able to look into the past and see how something challenging we had to work through became an experience that was for our own good. We might have even been able to use an experience to help others get through difficult times. That is what Paul was shooting for in this passage – a cycle of growth despite adversity:

Hope – trial – patience – character – hope

When I look at the daily challenges I face and the hurt I feel when I see people disparage Christians, This idea helps me understand what Jesus meant when he said

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account – Matthew 5:11

That word blessed? That means happy or fortunate in a prolonged sense (ref. Strong’s G1307.) This give me a better sense of why the apostles were rejoicing for being persecuted in Acts 5:41.

I’m not suggesting we look for trouble for this purpose – I’m sure that anyone working on getting to heaven will find plenty, but I am suggesting that we remember to stay calm and try to understand how we will be better for it.

  • We will have suggestions for others
  • We will know what solution works (or doesn’t)
  • We will grow more mature in the Lord

And most importantly, we will know what we can take when put to the test.

Daily Bible reading for October 11

Psalm 71
1 Kings 6
Ezekiel 33
Romans 5:1-11

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The Blackberry Test

August 20, 2013

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My hands were sticky and purple from broken blackberries and burning from the briar scratches. They seemed to scratch me no matter what I tried to avoid it.

I had been out there for what seemed like forever to my sixth grade experience and the bottom of my pan was barely covered.

How I ended up in this mess is just a blur – All I know is I simply asked my grandmother when there was going to be blackberry jelly this year.

If she said anything, I didn’t hear it. She just bent under the sink and I heard her digging that pan out from under the sink. That pan is the pan that comes out when someone is going to have to go to the garden – and it held at least 40 gallons. Any twelve year old that hears that sound would know to run the other direction, but I was trapped.

Let me just say, I have since have tested every blackberry jelly sold in stores and I have never found one that comes close to the jelly my grandmother used to make.

Blackberries are a lot of trouble to gather, but worth it in the end!

Blackberries are a lot of trouble to gather, but worth it in the end!

After suffering awhile with the hot sand and the thorns, I see a most joyous site! Grandma was coming out to rescue me! In a matter of minutes, the pan was full enough for her and she invited me back up to have something to drink. On the walk up I asked her how long I had been out there. She said she thought it was a little more than a half an hour.

The answer to the next question became part of the fabric of my life. “Why does it have to be so hard to get the blackberries?”

With a soft laugh she replied, “So you’ll remember to be thankful for them.”

I’m sure I didn’t have a lot of use for that answer as a sixth grader, but as I read through 1 Peter 1:3-9 and think about those Christians dealing with some extraordinary times, I start to really get that. The passages about how our patience and joy should grow and abound also take me back to that day almost every time. (James 1:2-4, Romans 5:3-5)

“So I’ll remember to be thankful ….”

I’m sure Grandma would be proud to know she was first to introduce me to the idea that life’s challenges happen for our benefit just like these passages teach us.

I am sure too, that the jelly was the best ever that year.

Daily Bible reading for August 20

Psalm 18
1 Samuel 5:1-7:2
Jeremiah 50
1 Peter 1:1-12

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