Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blessed are those who mourn

When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying…Matthew 5:1-2
In the next several days we are going to be focusing on the Beatitudes, which are a list of virtues, or character traits that Jesus said are the traits of a true believer.  Yesterday we learned about what it means to be Poor in Spirit.  Today is about something a little heavier.  It is about sorrow, something that we all experience, but some more than others. 
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Matthew 5:4 NASB
Sorrow is inevitable; there is no option.  Our response to sorrow is optional.  To mourn is a natural expression of sorrow.  There seems to be nothing inherently good about mourning.  Men avoid mourning at all costs. In the world's vocabulary, mourning is the opposite of happiness. But with Jesus, true mourning was the way to true well-being. He did not mean this without qualification.
The Beatitudes succeed one another like links in a golden chain.  They build on one another.  This statement follows the first beatitude on poor in spirit, which was about being humble, not proud.  When our pride is stripped away and the reality of our powerless existence is revealed, we find ourselves weak and vulnerable.  Mourning is the proper response to the realization that we are separated from God by our sinful nature.  Mourning over one's personal sin and the sins of the world is the path to comfort and strength—the pathway to true happiness. 
There are different types of mourning:
  • Mourning for physical loss – Sadness for a car accident, broken treasure, lost money
  • Mourning for personal loss – Grief over the loss of a friend or even a pet
  • Mourning for others – Compassion that produces empathy for those hungry or a child
  • Mourning for sin – Brokenness
There is value in sorrow.  It is personal.  It reveals values and affections.  It provides contrast to happiness and makes us appreciate it more.  It humbles our spirit to realize we have no control.  It develops our character and strength.  Our souls need purging from time to time.  It needs a good flushing out and tears are a means of accomplishing this.  The closest communion with God comes through these times of tears.  The crushing of life can produce the sweetest wine.
The deepest mourning should be reserved for sin.  In our brokenness before God, our sorrow provides cleansing for the pride that hinders and sometimes destroys our spiritual, mental, and physical health and wellbeing.  When we don’t mourn our sin before God, we cling to our sin out of pride or fear of shame.  When we do mourn before God, we can find comfort in knowing that our Messiah will save us from our sin.  This comfort is intended for and accessible to those who are regretful over offending God, repentant under God's discipline, responsive to God's grace, or related to God by faith.  Though sorrow and grief have their own values, the greatest value for a believer is in causing them to deplore their condition, realize their weakness and discover God's strength.
True comfort is bearing a heavy load sustained by someone who assists you to overcome.
God will never plant the seed of his life upon the soil of a hard, unbroken spirit. He will only plant that seed where the conviction of His Spirit has brought brokenness, where the
soil has been watered with the tears of repentance as well as the tears of joy.  
Alan Redpath (1907-1989)
Scripture to Claim:
How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! 
Psalm 32:1-2

Devotional Archive