Seek to live fuller lives with God in the center

Published 8:47 am Monday, July 24, 2023

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From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Dear Rev. Graham: Most people feel that Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is filled with beauty and sound advice, but I’m not sure I properly understand the Beatitudes, and I’m most troubled when Jesus gives blessing to those who mourn. Are we to be in a constant state of mourning over the sick and the dead? – P.M.
Dear P.M.: The word “mourning” means “to feel deep sorrow, to show great concern, or to deplore some existing wrong.” It implies that if we are to live life on a higher plane, then we are to be sensitive, sympathetic, tenderhearted, and alert to the needs of others – but also aware of our own sin and lack of obedience to the Lord. Jesus did not imply that mourning is about those who have a morbid view of life; He was speaking to people who were seeking to live fuller lives with God in the center.
Before we can become strong, we must first realize that we are weak. Before we can become wise, we must realize that we are foolish. Before we can receive power, we must first confess that we are powerless. We must lament our sins before God before we can rejoice in a Savior. Mourning always comes before exultation. Blessed are those who mourn their unworthiness, their helplessness, and their inadequacy. If we have no sense of sorrow for sin, how can we know the need of repentance?
In God’s economy, we must go down into the valley of grief before we can scale the heights of spiritual glory. We must become tired and weary of living without Christ before seeking and finding His salvation. We must come to the end of “self” before we can really begin to live. “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)

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