A time to mourn and weep

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A time to mourn and weep

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Wise King Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season… A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4).

Now is a season to weep and mourn. After the unspeakable horror of a slaughter of innocents in Newtown, Connecticut, on the morning of December 14, 2012.

Officials will investigate exhaustively and the world will analyze of this crime of crimes over and over. Though most of our lives are already jam-packed with busy-ness, most will want to learn more details about it.

But let’s slow down—let’s not neglect to feel and express empathy—to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15).

If we love others as we love ourselves, we will share their sorrows.

Jesus had immense compassion for everyone. He wept for them (John 11:35).

Jeremiah frequently wept because he loved his countrymen and was heartbroken over the encroaching evils and tragedies in Judah. He wrote, “I wish that my head were filled with water and my eyes were a fountain of tears so that I could cry day and night for my dear people who have been killed” (Jeremiah 9:1, God’s Word translation).

A whole book of the Bible is named Lamentations, probably written by Jeremiah.

The apostle Paul wrote, “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you, with many tears, not that you should be grieved, but that you might know the love which I have so abundantly for you” (2 Corinthians 2:4).

And when we know that we have sinned against God, that is the time we should “lament and mourn and weep” in heartfelt repentance (James 4:9).

Grieve, but grieve with hope

When the saints in Thessalonica were grieving over their brethren who had died, Paul wrote, “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). Then he went on to explain the certainty of a future resurrection from the dead.

Paul said, “I have hope in God… that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust” (Acts 24:15).

“The Lord is… not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Those who die without having had an opportunity to learn God’s truth and qualify for salvation will be resurrected and given that opportunity.

Countless people of all ages are dying every day around the world—from every imaginable cause. The world is inundated with grief. But God loves every individual and will not forget a single one. God loves everyone and has a plan to save everyone (John 3:16-17; 1 Timothy 2:4).

God blesses those who mourn

God has special compassion on those who show compassion. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).

God told Ezekiel that within Jerusalem, He would protect “the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it” (Ezekiel 9:3-6).

Psalms 126:5 says, “Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

God remembers our tears. David wrote, “Put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” (Psalms 56:8).

Comfort and joy when Christ returns!

Isaiah 61:1-3 is a prophecy of Jesus Christ, fulfilled in part by His first coming and to be fulfilled much more with His second coming. “The LORD… has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted…

to comfort all who mourn, to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness….”

Shortly before Jesus was to be arrested and then crucified, He said this to His disciples: “Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (John 16:20-22).