Good Mourning: Processing the Pain

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” (Psalm 116:15)

The promise of these words of Scripture are especially multiplied in the enduring pain following the terrible shootings Wednesday evening, June 19, at Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston, SC. People may think that God’s blessing and even His presence may be absent when lives are touched with tragedy, sorrow, persecution, or death. Not so, say the inspired writers of Holy Writ. They understood that The Redeemer is with his own through those times. David’s inspired words comfort us, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil” (Psalm 23:4).

Is these word a trite platitude? Can this promise actually bring comfort in the such pain? That depends on the faith of the person facing such heartache. One having even a tiny “mustard seed” of faith in the Risen Savior is able to go through their pathway of life and death in His power (Matthew 13:31-32). That is the nature of God’s promises.

The Good Book is full of promises from God to His people. These positively powerful statements of Scripture are spiritual connections for those who believe. They are each like a gift card loaded with funds to fully provide for a gift. There are many different types of Bible promises, and they can be powerful, when mixed with faith. Just as when you use a gift card, you go to the seller, and make your purchase. You go to God directly through faith, asking the Lord to meet your need or answer your situation. Just as an unredeemed gift card seem to be a waste of plastic, unbelieved Bible promises only seem empty.

This promise, Psalm 116:15, is very hard, involving nothing less than death. Fulfillment can be seen with a tough issue through faith that is especially deep or long. God’s help is available for both big issues, and small ones. It takes more than a superficial belief to get through a concern as intense as this. Consider the hard analogy of eating a hickory nut. These have very rich smoky flavor in firm nut meat, locked in a shell harder than the tree trunk. The shell of a hickory nut is penetrated with very firm pressure; faith can penetrate the hard experiences of life.

More great promises offering help to those of faith in times of trouble are: “casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). The promise of salvation is given: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The promises of the Bible reveal the gracious, righteous, powerful nature of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Believing in the Lord’s promises can be a new beginning of spiritual life, a good morning in mourning.