Saturday, December 7, 2019

The Beatitudes: Those Who Mourn

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)

Why do the disciples of Jesus mourn? They mourn for their sins, the sins of others, for evils, for unjust suffering they endure, for the suffering that others experience. Jesus mourned during His time on earth when He saw sin and death in His world. The blessed ones are not those who are above suffering and sadness, detached from this world. No, they are those who in this age mourn. They know the glory that was lost and miss it. They are appalled at the corruption in this world and in their hearts. And so they are sad.

Why are they blessed? Mourning is not inherently a blessing, but the promised comfort is. It is those who now mourn that shall be comforted. They shall receive the glory that was lost. God will wipe away their tears and take away their pain and sorrow. They shall know everlasting joy in union with God. Even now they know the comfort of God's promises and His ongoing care. Even now they receive His comfort through His word and His people (see 2 Cor. 1:3-7). But those who do not mourn over their sins, who are gay and jolly now despite their sins and the evil of this world, they shall not find comfort in the time to come.

Do you mourn? Have you been touched with sadness for your sins? Do they bring you sorrow? Does the corruption of this world bring you sorrow? Can you say with the Psalmist: “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law” (Psalm 119:136). Do you mourn over the sad condition of Christ’s church, its impurity, its disunity, its sins and errors, and the suffering it receives from its enemies? If you do not mourn, it is not for lack of things to mourn for.

As disciples of Jesus, be those who mourn. Do not mourn without hope, and do not mourn greatly over the little things and little over the great things. Do you desire to be a better mourner? Then reflect on what is good and love it. Then turn your gaze to this present life and see where it falls short - the sin, the curse, the suffering, the disgrace. Do not harden your hearts.

If you mourn in this way, then take heart - you are blessed. You shall be comforted. You shall know enduring, everlasting comfort. Even now, you shall begin to be comforted by God’s word and promise, by His presence and favor. Even now, you shall gain a foretaste of this comfort, and even the foretaste is more meaningful and substantial than the weak comfort of the apathetic and self-satisfied.


For prior posts in this series, see:
1. "The Beatitudes: Introduction"
2. "The Beatitudes: The Poor in Spirit"

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