The Good Life – Session 2
September 16, 2020
HAPPY ARE THOSE WHO LAMENT
Biblical lament means allowing your heart to be by the same things that God’s heart, knowing all the while that God is the brokenhearted. Lament moves us to .
During the last week, as you thought about what it means to be “poor in spirit,” what was your most significant takeaway?
How do you typically respond to pain? Do you press into it or run away from it?
Last week we were introduced to Jesus’ teaching about the good life. We saw that true comes from being poor in spirit. This week we’ll continue our walk through the Beatitudes, and Pastor Derwin teaches us to find true from an unexpected place—.
Jesus defines happiness very differently than we would. Today’s teaching is counter-cultural. In this session, Pastor Derwin will show us that those who lament are because they are cemented in God’s .
Watch the session 2 video featuring Derwin Gray.
(Zoom break-out sessions)
Unpack the biblical text to discover what the Scripture says or means about a particular topic.
Have a volunteer read Matthew 5:4.
The Greek word, translated here as “mourn,” is the strongest word for mourning or lamenting in the New Testament. It expresses loud crying, as though someone were wailing in agony over sin, suffering, injustice, and human tragedy. It describes a person whose heart is broken by what breaks God’s heart.
Why do we rush through pain instead of pausing to lament? Why is grief uncomfortable for us?
How does lamenting enhance our capacity to receive God’s comfort?
Anyone who reads the news or has relationships with other people knows that the world isn’t the way it should be. To lament is to agree with God about the sin and disruption in the world and to mourn its presence. Lament is different than complaining, which is selfish in nature and assigns God blame for our misgivings.
Lamenting the way things are is tied to longing for the way things ought to be. As Christians, we should long for a world that the gospel has cured, one that God’s kingdom in Christ has completely invaded. Before we can be on mission living in and for God’s kingdom, we must lament the idolatry and injustice of the world.
Read Psalm 34:18. When have you felt God’s presence in the midst of pain?
Lamenting is a holy hurt. But the hurt is a pain that pushes us deeper into faith, hope, and love. It pushes us deeper into our faith in Jesus and His redemptive purposes, and it pushes us deeper into hope, which is the knowledge that one day all things will be made new.
God doesn’t waste our pain. It’s as though God takes our pain and uses it to purify us. During suffering, God graciously grants us access to the suffering of Christ Jesus. His endurance becomes ours. His strength becomes ours. He becomes our fortress of hope as we grow our roots deeper and deeper into the soil of His great love.
Why should we mourn sin, evil, injustice, suffering, and tragedy? How might we do that in our lives? How might we do that in a group like this?
How have you been able to find purpose in your pain? Why should our pain point us back to the cross?
How does lamenting connect us to others who are suffering?
We’re fine with mourning our personal sins—to lament over those is a godly sorrow leading to repentance and praise because the blood of Jesus has wiped away our sins. They’re nailed to the cross and left there forever. We are not as good at acknowledging and lamenting our corporate sins. As followers of Jesus, it’s vital to our discipleship that we learn to lament corporate sin because lament moves us to action. What does this action look like?
First, we ask the Holy Spirit to search our own hearts so we may repent of our personal sins. Second, we ask Jesus to start a revival in our own individual lives. Third, we corporately confess our sins and ask forgiveness from the people we’ve hurt. Fourth, we make restitution to those we’ve wronged. We try to right our wrongs. Fifth, we seek to hold pastors and leaders in the church responsible and accountable for hurtful actions. Sixth, church leaders must teach and equip their congregations through corporate sin because lament moves us to action.
Help your group identify how the truths from the Scripture passage apply directly to their lives.
How has walking through pain grown you in Christlikeness? How does this help you see pain differently?
What are some areas where we need to offer corporate repentance? How can you lead your church to take part in this corporate lament?
Who do you know who is in pain and could use someone to care for him/her in the name of Jesus? When will you help this person?
Father God, thank You for sending Jesus to comfort the afflicted. May our mourning lead us into a deeper experience of your transforming grace.
The penitent person who recognizes the weight of his or her sin and spiritual bankruptcy can only respond with sorrow. This has nothing to do with “feeling badly” over some unhappy event. This refers to the condition of the human heart. Only when we are truly sorrowful for our spiritual bankruptcy can the grace of God be introduced into the picture. It is through God’s grace that we experience great joy and the comfort of the forgiveness he offers. (Old Testament parallels include Isa. 1:17,23; 2:11,17; 61:2.)