Have you ever had a dream that died? Sure, we all have…a marriage that didn’t last, parents who weren’t there when we needed them, a business that failed, a loved one who passed too soon, mistakes that cost us dearly, failing to achieve a goal, waning health, or a devastating loss caused by persecution or war.
Every time a dream dies, a little piece of your heart breaks, and you enter a state of mourning for your loss. In the second Beatitude, Jesus proclaimed God’s compassion for all who mourn.
Two Kinds of Mourning
We mourn over two things: (1) The losses we have experienced, often at the hands of others, and (2) the damage and loss we have caused to others. In some cases, we are the ones who crushed others' lives, shattered their dreams, and inflicted hurt and pain.
This second kind of "mourning" is a person's deep regret when the awareness of their sin floods their heart. This is the gift of repentance, as the Holy Spirit helps the person see their life through the eyes of God, the objective Judge. (Romans 2:4)
Before we can change, we must own what we have done. Repentance is the powerful desire to change how we've been and become better with God's help.
Godly sorrow leads to repentance and the acknowledgment of our need for the Savior. (2 Corinthians 7:10) When we accept Jesus as our Savior, our sins are forgiven, and we are declared innocent of past transgressions. Through faith in Jesus, we are born again and receive a new nature like His. The Bible says that if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
It's comforting to know that the Lord, in His mercy, looks through broken commandments to see the broken hearts and shattered dreams of those who have wounded others. God doesn't just see sin; He sees people in all their circumstances.
The title of an old Dottie Rambo song nicely expresses the Lord's compassion, "He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Need."
We mourn not only because we failed and inflicted pain on others but also when circumstances beyond our control dashed our expectations and broke our hearts.
God's Promise to All Who Mourn
No matter who you are, your life hasn’t turned out exactly like you thought. Whose has? Whether you acknowledge it or not, you may be in mourning, but God sees your pain and promises to comfort you.
The Bible says, The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalm 34:18, NLT)
The Father has promised not to leave you comfortless; He will come to you. (John 14:18) Jesus is the healer of the brokenhearted. (Luke 4:18) No one can comfort us like the Holy Spirit. He can heal the losses we have suffered and make us whole again.
The Dream That Came to Life Again
There is a beautiful illustration of a restored dream in Old Testament times.
When the prophet Samuel crowned Saul king over Israel, Samuel dreamed a “kingdom dream” of a godly king ruling a holy nation. He envisioned the glory of God’s kingdom shining through His people to the rest of the world.
But as King Saul aged, the kingdom dream became less and less a reality. Saul’s mental condition declined as he descended through disobedience into jealousy, fear, and self-centeredness.
As Samuel recognized what Saul had become, he mourned for the lost opportunity.
But one day, the Lord shook Samuel out of his grief, saying, “How long will you mourn for Saul?” (1 Samuel 16:1) Enough already!
Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us there is "a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
Mourning and grieving need to have their season, but the time comes when we must take off the black and go forward with life, even if we walk with a limp.
The Lord promised eventually to turn our mourning into dancing, but He can do this only if we are willing to arise and move our feet. (Psalm 30:11)
Once the Lord got Samuel’s attention, He sent him to the house of Jesse the Bethlehemite to anoint Jesse’s youngest son David as the next king over Israel.
To “anoint” someone meant pouring olive oil on their head, symbolizing the Spirit of God, filling them with wisdom, courage, and leadership ability.
While Samuel didn’t live to see the glory of David's kingdom, he was comforted in knowing that God had started a new plan through David, a man after God’s own heart who would do His will.
It's good to be like Samuel in bringing our shattered dreams to the Lord, knowing He will mend, restore, and comfort us as He gives our life fresh direction and vision.
Things in the past may have ended in disaster, yet one minute in the presence of the Lord can heal your heart and help you chart a new course. You may say to yourself, "What if I can't?" "What if it doesn't work out?" But He will respond, "Yes, you can, for I am with you."
Don't Blame God for What People Do
People sometimes hold God responsible for the death of their dreams. But please understand that while God is all-powerful, He gave man dominion and the freedom to make life choices. He does not control the free will actions of men. As a result, the terrible things that happen on earth are not His will.
God, being good, does not do evil and “allows” evil to the extent that His creations, Adam and Eve and their children (us), allow evil.
Don’t fall into the devil’s trap of blaming God for what happened to you. This cuts you off from the only One who can give you a hand up and out of the mourning. Here is a prayer to help you forgive God.
Father, I come before You, not understanding everything that happened in my life. I expected You to do _______________, but it did not happen. I confess I am confused, discouraged, and even angry. But I place all my unfulfilled expectations and dreams on Your altar. I am determined to worship You from this day forward without reservation or condition. You will be my God, and I will be Your servant, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
When Samuel anointed David as the future king of Israel, King Saul was still on the throne. He persecuted David, causing him ongoing hardships and discouraging circumstances, including the death of his parents.
But in the end, God turned the bad around for good. In Psalm 30:11, King David declared the amazing things God had done for him, “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11, NLT)
That will be your testimony, too, as God brings comfort into your life and turns your mourning into dancing. The first word of this beatitude is “Blessed,” which means “happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of [one’s] outward conditions.” (Matthew 5:4, The Amplified Bible.)
Are you ready for the next phase in your life? Let the Holy Spirit lead you out of the house of mourning into the place of a new beginning! Even those who mourn for the sin in their lives can take comfort in knowing they are a new creation in Christ with a new and godly nature.
"Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted."