Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Grief


Since 1976, the USA has designated the month of February as Black History Month.  Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history…

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man well acquainted with grief.  His heart must have broken every time he witnessed or heard of people suffering abuse simply because of the color of their skin. He must have feared for his family’s safety when his home was bombed.  His spirit must have grown weary after being arrested no less than 20 times.  He had to have questioned the wisdom of carrying on after being physically and verbally assaulted over and over and over again.  And yet, this man who grieved at the condition of this world, would inspire his own generation and generations to come.  He spoke words of hope and healing, despite the sorrow and sadness that surrounded him.

What follows are a few powerful quotes from his sermons that grant us insight into MLK’s longing for the “joy that comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:4-6):

“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”  —Romans 12:12

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
“You have heart that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  —Matthew 5:43-44

“Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a permanent attitude.”
“But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.”  —Psalm 130:4

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others.’” 
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”  —Matthew 25:40

“Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  —Ephesians 4:31-32

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
“So keep up our courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me.”  —Acts 27:25

And these are only six of the memorable quotes that were liberally sprinkled through his sermon in his lifetime! We were and continue to be inspired by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. because he was inspired by God.


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