Near to the Broken-Hearted (ebook)

Near to the Broken-Hearted ebook

The Comfort of Jesus in the Grief of Losing a Child

By Dan Martin & Anna Martin, foreword by Tim Challies, contributions by Chris Mouring
from 5 reviews

Biblical help and hope for parents facing bereavement.

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This book has been written to help heartbroken parents know and feel the nearness and tenderness of God when they are facing the loss of a child. It takes long, satisfying looks at truths and stories from the Bible, helping you to know and be comforted by God the Father as he walks with you through your darkest seasons.

The authors write with honesty, experience and compassion to encourage those who are crushed in spirit to lean heavily on Jesus. They give lots of practical advice on processing and praying through grief as well as clarity on some of the difficult questions raised by this kind of suffering.

Foreword by Tim Challies.

Readers can choose whichever chapters are most relevant to their situation. There is something here for those who have just heard the news that their child is very ill, and for those who lost a child some time ago; for those who are asking painful questions, and for those seeking practical advice; for mothers carrying a pregnancy that will likely end in loss, and for family members wondering how to help their loved ones in their grief.

Every situation is different, but our Lord Jesus is always the same—and he has a special, tender nearness to the broken-hearted.

Product details


  • Foreword (by Tim Challies)
    1. Weeping with Jesus: For those who've heard bad news
    2. Under a Shadow: For those facing future loss
    3. Walking the Valley: For those reeling from recent loss
    4. After the Storm: For those continuing to grieve
    5. A Short and Precious life: For those facing the loss of an infant or unborn baby
    6. Past, Present, Future: For those facing the loss of an older child (by Chris Mouring)
    7. Valuable: For those facing the possibility that their child will be disabled
    8. Walking Together: For family and friends
    9. Why Won't Jesus Heal My Child?
    10. What Happens to Little Ones When They Die?
    11. From Tears to Shouts of Joy: All chapters lead here
    Appendix I: Further practical advice for grief
    Appendix II: Further reading and resources


Contributors Dan Martin, Anna Martin, Tim Challies, Chris Mouring
ISBN 9781784988814
Format eBook
First published July 2023
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company

Russell D. Moore

Editor in Chief, Christianity Today

This book is a help not only for grieving parents but also for those called to help bear with them the burdens of such loss. And that call is for all of us.

John Wyatt

Emeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics at University College London

A wonderfully helpful, honest and practical resource for all who grieve the loss of a child, and for those who want to support them. Dan and Anna have walked this path and their writing combines authentic first-hand experience with profound spiritual and biblical wisdom.

Elly and Dan Strange

Dan is a Fellow of the Keller Apologetics Center and Director of Crosslands Forum

This book is a beautiful example of the sharing of Christ’s comfort (2 Corinthians 1 v 3-6). It is friendly, warm, clear, deep, personal, challenging and immensely practical. Not only is it a great resource for grieving parents, it should be read by all Christians who want to be prepared to walk alongside the brokenhearted in their church family. We urge you to read it.

Customer reviews

20 Aug 2023

“Near to the Broken Hearted...A must read! This book is good for all!”

(Review written for 'Near to the Broken-Hearted')

I can't say enough good about this book.
To Dan,Anna,Tim,Chris and Kim thanks for sharing yout stories.
All I can say is, there are no words.None of us who have never lost a child can imagine the grief you have had to endure.
When reading this book I have had to stop and start again more than once because I could not see through my tears for you,and again I can only imagine.
This book reminds me of the movie,I Can Only Imagine.Totally different circumstances in the movie but it shows how God can work in our lives,and bring hope,and show we are never to far from God's love.
I have read all of these verses at some point and time in my life but some have different meaning now,and I thank you for this.
I have had different storms through my life and still am, I question why and even get angry with him at times but God always helped me through them.We will not be forsaken. Our prayers are heard.
I need to learn patience and keep reminding myself his timing is perfect!
Know that each of you now have another one praying for you and your loss.
I hope each of you get a chance to read this so you will know how reading these verses has helped me. I have started reading the book again!
God Bless,

17 Aug 2023

“Encouragement in a Time of Despair”

(Review written for 'Near to the Broken-Hearted')

It seems surprising to say that you can come away encouraged from a book about the loss of a child, and yet that's what this does. To know that amidst the deep and real grief, we can know the comfort and compassion of the God who personally knows us, who is near to the broken-hearted, is incredibly helpful. It's not a read that feels patronising or minimising grief, but instead magnifying what we might have lost sight of in the goodness and compassion of God. Absolutely recommended for those in this tragic situation, and also for church leaders who want to be better equipped to support their congregations.

7 Jul 2023

“Compassionate and very relatable”

(Review written for 'Near to the Broken-Hearted')

I was expecting the usual advice or cliches when it comes to those who are grieving, but I find a fresh, insightful and compassionate book grounded on Scriptures in every page. Dan and Anna Martin know not just the pain in going through a loss but how to Christians should respond to people facing it. I like how they gave emphasis also on the hope of those departed to eternity. You might buy this book because of Tim Challies, but this book is a worthy read not just for people grieving but also for those who want to counsel.

6 Jul 2023

“Wise and Helpful”

(Review written for 'Near to the Broken-Hearted')

In this book, Dan and Anna Martin share their grief story about the loss of their infant twin son, and they reflect on common dynamics that parents deal with as they grieve. This book also includes a chapter from a dad whose young adult son died in a tragic accident, and I am thankful that this book address the death of an older child, since few resources on child loss do.

This book will minister to grieving Christian parents in a variety of circumstances. The authors are very honest and vulnerable about what they have been through, and they offer spiritual comfort without platitudes or shallow ideas. As they unpack Bible verses and spiritual concepts throughout the book, they show how their beliefs have grounded them in the storm of grief.

The Martins share deep reflections on how Jesus has sustained them, comforted them, and given them hope, and they write about a variety of different circumstances that parents may find themselves in. They acknowledge people who are dealing with recent losses and processing ones from long ago, and they encourage parents that every child's life matters, even if they die in the womb or shortly after, and even if they have a grievous prenatal diagnosis. The authors also address common questions that people ask, such as why God didn't heal their child and what happens to babies and little children when they die.

"Near to the Broken-Hearted" is a wonderful resource for grieving Christian parents. No one ever wants to need a book like this, but this one is particularly wise and helpful. The authors avoid sentimentality and platitudes, and they also include a helpful chapter for people who want to better support grieving loved ones and are often grieving in their own way. This book is a gentle, caring, and honest guide, and I highly recommend it to bereaved parents and their support systems.

Note: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

5 Jul 2023

“An important read”

(Review written for 'Near to the Broken-Hearted')

Whilst I have not experienced the profound grief discussed in this book, as a mother, I could not help but be deeply moved to tears whilst reading. The following quote stopped me in my tracks.

“Jed died looking into our faces, and awoke to Jesus”. It was a very sad day for us, but a very glorious one for him.

As I placed myself in this families shoes. As I thought of my own children. As I thought of all the children lost. I could not help but weep with them. This book isn’t all tears and sadness though. Stay with me and read on.

Dan, Anna and Chris wrote this book in an incredibly hopeful, deeply personal, gentle and biblically rich way. Walking you through multiple different kinds of scenarios, such as disability, infant loss and loss of an adult child. I found they respected each different scenario so delicately, bringing great empathy and speaking the comforting truth of the gospel throughout. Bringing hope to those who face these losses, as they revealed the heart of our loving Father. 🙏

They also provided great practical suggestions to both those who grieve and those who will be supporting them. Thus it isn’t just for those who have or may face the loss of a child, but for all, as we are all one body, supporting one another. Weeping with those who weep. It isn’t a topic we ever want to think about and I think this makes it all the more important that we do read about it, as it can only help us be better friends to those who find this their painful reality.

Whilst there were one or two minor points that I didn’t wholly align with, I found this a very profound book (the most profound of the year so far) and I would absolutely recommend it for everyone. ❤️

Thank you TGBC for providing this copy in exchange my for honest review.

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Near to the Broken-Hearted (ebook) | Dan Martin, Anna Martin, Tim Challies, Chris Mouring |