“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (NLT)
In this broken world of suffering, losses, pressures, disease, and disappointments, God blesses broken hearts. In this study, we will learn that God draws the broken hearted close to him and God grieves with us when we mourn. God does not expect us to be happy all the time. In fact grief is essential to health. By creating us in his image, God is able to bless our broken hearts through the process of grieving. Often times, grief is the only logical response to losses in life, whether we’re undergoing a loss of health, divorce, tarnished reputation, or death of a loved one. We’ll learn that God uses grief to help us grow and that we weren’t meant to grieve alone. We also can grieve with the hope of Heaven. Ultimately, God can use our experiences to transform us and our greatest hurt can lead to our greatest contribution to others.
Open your group with a prayer. This is only a guide – select the points you want to discuss.
“So in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others… Be devoted to each other like a loving family… Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15,10,15 (NIV/GW)
1. Think about how these verses emphasize the importance of relationships. Share a memorable celebration, who it was with, and how including others added to that experience? How does sharing a time of sorrow with others change that experience for the better?
“Comfort each other and give each other strength.” 1 Thessalonians 5:1 (ICB)
2. What are some messages our culture has taught us about how to handle a loss or how to expect others to get over a loss that keep us from mourning in a healthy way? What are some healthy ways we can comfort and support each other?
“Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways” Proverbs 20:30 (TEV)
3. Changing our ways is very difficult, especially as we get older. Sometimes it takes a painful experience for us to mature or transform. Share about a painful experience that influenced you to change your ways. How did it change your life for the better?
“These … troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing.” 1 Corinthians 4:17 (CEV)
4. When we have a time of loss, difficulty, or grief, focusing on eternal glory can help us find purpose in our pain. What does eternal glory mean to you? Share and discuss it with your group.
“God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others with the same comfort we received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4
5. Every day we either need comfort or need to comfort others. The verse above shows us we don’t have to go through our troubles alone and that our troubles are not the end of a process, as we sometimes think, but the middle. Talk about how even in the midst of our loss, comforting others can help us heal.