We all endure heartbreak in this life. It may be a romantic breakup, a lost loved one, a severe disappointment, or a missed opportunity. Such profound longing or loss feels immensely powerful, but God’s outrageous care heals our heartache with hope.
Heartbreak Is an Inescapable Part of Life
The Bible provides many examples of the heartaches common in life. For example, Hannah was heartbroken because of infertility.
1 Samuel 1:10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.
King David experienced heartbreak over the death of his son.
2 Samuel 18:33 The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.”
The prophet Jeremiah lived through the destruction of his homeland by invasion.
Lamentations 2:11 I have cried until the tears no longer come; my heart is broken. My spirit is poured out in agony as I see the desperate plight of my people.
Even Jesus was not exempt from heartbreak.
Isaiah 53:3 He was despised and rejected – a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
God Will Restore All Our Losses
God will turn our fortunes around – but it might not happen the way you expect. For example, it may or may not happen in this life. God eventually gave Hannah a son. But David and Jeremiah lived with their losses for the rest of their lives. But if not in this life, God’s restoration will happen in the life to come. One day all things will be made new. Jeremiah foresaw that day of restoration.
Jeremiah 31:13 The young women will dance with joy, and the men – old and young – will join in the celebration. I will turn their mourning into joy. I will comfort them and exchange their sorrow for rejoicing.
The New Testament describes a new world God will create when this one passes.
Revelation 21:4 He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.
How encouraging it is to know that this broken world, with all its disappointments, is not all there is! We have a future hope to hang on to amid the heartbreaks of this life.
Whatever Happens to You, God Himself Is Enough
When your heart is aching, it feels like only one thing is enough – to have that person or thing you long for. To say that God is enough in those times seems like a shallow platitude. But the Bible shows us that this hope is real. First, King David suffered much heartbreak – far beyond losing Absalom. He learned that God was real and present in those times.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
When Jeremiah’s whole life was turned upside down, he discovered that God was there.
Lamentations 3:20-23 I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
God’s promises don’t minimize the reality of our loss. But we have reason for hope in the worst calamity because God’s faithful love never ends.
Consider four practical tips for how to experience God’s presence and help with your broken heart.
- Take it straight to God. Don’t push him away. Meditate on his character and attributes. Keep pursuing him.
- Take care of yourself. Get rest. Allow yourself to feel your emotions. Give yourself time for God to heal you.
- Let people help you. Talk to someone who cares. Connect to others who love God and can help you remember his faithful love.
- Let God grow you. He can work deeply in you through times of sorrow. He can also work through you to bless others because of what you’ve been through.
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- Talk about a time you were heartbroken. What happened?
- Why do you think heartbreak is such a prevalent human experience?
- How have you seen God restore your losses in this life?
- What losses (or longings) have you experienced that probably won’t be restored in this life?
- Read Revelation 21:4. Does it encourage you think that God will restore all losses in the life to come? Why or why not?
- Read Psalm 34:18. What does it mean that God is close to the brokenhearted? What kind of rescue can we count on?
- Read Lamentations 3:20-25. Where does Jeremiah find his hope? Describe a time when you experienced God’s faithful love and fresh mercies in a time of loss.
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.