Blessed Are They That Mourn

June 26, 2012

Blessed Are They That Mourn

“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted” (Mathew 5:4).

Perhaps those of this world, on hearing these words would say, “What stupidity!”  Weeping is something most people seek to avoid.  The world’s philosophy is “Forget about your problems; rejoice.”  We naturally try to console people when they mourn.  Entertainment is a big industry.  How then shall we understand the words of Mathew 5:4?

The counterpart of Mathew 5:4 is found in Luke 6:25 that says “Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.” It is a condemnation of the indifference of the world to that which is important.

Mathew 5:4 must be applied in a spiritual context.  The Lord Jesus isn’t saying that the blessed are those who mourn in a natural context.  To be sure, it doesn’t refer to the heartbreak that results from the loss of a loved one.  Neither does it refer to those who are suffering economic hardship.  The beatitudes must be interpreted in a spiritual context.

Many times it’s even hard for believers to understand spiritual truths.  We need spiritual maturity to understand spiritual truths.  We cannot fully understand the significance of Mathew 5:4 until we comprehend the seriousness of sin.  Sin is no longer repugnant to most people.  They accept it as the normal thing.  They are not grieved because of their sin and  don’t realize that they are grieving the Holy Spirit.  Ephesians 4:30 says “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.”  They accept their low level of spiritual maturity as normal.  He who really loves God and desires to please him can’t help but be continually grieved by that which isn’t pleasing to God.  This is what should cause mourning on the part of the believer.

We also fail to comprehend the nature of true Christian joy.  Philippians 4:4 says “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.”  We think that joy is what we have when everything is going well for us. “God is so good to me.  I can’t help but rejoice.” Of course we should rejoice in this, but our joy should also come from our daily walk with God.  If we have fellowship with God, we will rejoice in that which pleases him.  He wants to see souls saved and Christians entering into a closer relationship with him.  Seeing Christians yielding to temptation and churches closing their doors should be reason for mourning.

To understand what Jesus meant by mourning in this context it helps us to study the New Testament.  We can learn something by observing Jesus while he was on the earth.  God wants us to be like him. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof”  (Romans 13:14).  It might be a surprise to know that we don’t find anywhere in the New Testament that Jesus laughed. We shouldn’t build an argument from silence.  Most likely he laughed on occasion, but I’m sure he didn’t go laughing his way through life.  Isaiah 53:3 gives us a prophecy about Jesus earthly life.  It says “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” That prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus.  We read that he wept, but not that he laughed.

We do well also to imitate the Apostle Paul.  “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”  (Romans 7:24).  We aught to be grieved because we are so weak, so inclined to sin, and that we contribute so little to the Lord’s work.

The believer is also grieved because of the sad state of our society.  People all around us are suffering because of sin.  Apart from that, there is violence, wars and misery.  Nehemiah asked the king “And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ sepulchers, lieth waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire?  (Nehemiah 2:3)

We can describe the man who mourns this way:

He is sad, but not miserable.

He is serious but not to the point that he is unapproachable.

He takes life seriously, but not to the point that he never laughs or isn’t happy.

He is a combination of seriousness and happiness

His knowledge of the truths of God don’t permit him to go laughing through life,

but they also give him joy and hope.

He is genuine.

He doesn’t live with a sad face, but he doesn’t laugh at that which should be   serious.

He is blessed because he has the right attitude towards the things of God.

Where is the blessing then for the man who mourns?  It comes from God.  All his needs are supplied.  “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”  (Philippians 4:19).  God enables him to rejoice through his tears.


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