The recent spate of deadly mass shootings has once again shaken our nation to its core. I am reminded of the words of Jesus: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). The words are stunning. How can those who mourn amidst tragedy be “blessed”? The Greek word literally means “happy.”
Mourning is not merely an emotional response to a calamity. We see plenty of those. People instinctively jump on social media and begin blaming someone else—usually their most hated political foes—for what happened. Simplistic policy prescriptions are thrown out as if they are wonder cures.
Our country has largely forgotten how to mourn because true mourning requires an eternal and deeply biblical horizon. We mourn when we realize things are not as they were created to be. We mourn when we see in each sin a reminder of humanity’s Fall, of our rejection of fellowship with God in the garden. We mourn when the bitter sting of El Paso and Dayton breaks our hearts for our neighbors and turns our hope to the future. Jesus was telling the truth. We shall be comforted, fully and finally, when he returns in glory.
God, we ask that by your Spirit you would comfort those whose lives have been affected by violence and tragedy in recent days. Use the ministry of your church to offer counsel, help, and hope. Thank you for the courageous response of law enforcement to stop the violence and protect many others who stood in harm’s way. Heal the wounds of our nation, and work amidst these tragedies to point people to the hope only found in Jesus Christ.
About First Baptist Dallas and Dr. Robert Jeffress
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 24 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, “Choosing the Extraordinary Life,” is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.