We have been considering the Beattitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) in the last few articles. We saw last time that the poor in spirit, those who walk in true humility toward God and man, will inherit the Kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
We will see two ways that this verse applies to the believer.
Kingdom truth is often counter-intuitive; that is, it is opposite from what natural thinking would assume to be true. The Greek word translated “blessed” here means to be happy or to be envied, and is so used in the Amplified Bible. The word “mourn” means to lament or sorrow, particularly over the loss of something important to you. So, this says that you are genuinely happy or to be envied when you are in deep sorrow.
Do we have a deep sorrow over the sin in our lives? Or over the sinfulness of our nation and our world? God will hear you when you mourn over your sin. In the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18), the tax collector expressed genuine sorrow over his sin.
The good news is that God will comfort those who weep and mourn now (Luke 6:21). He will give them laughter.
Jeremiah 31:13, 14 Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and old, together; For I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them and make them rejoice rather than sorrow. I will satiate (fill to the full) the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.
The fruit of the Spirit includes joy. If we first acknowledge and mourn over our sin before God, then seek to walk in obedience to the Spirit, we will have a growing joy in our hearts. Even in the midst of trials and tribulations, His joy will remain (John 15:11).
Going a little deeper, there is a second, related application to this promise. Mourning and lamenting typically are associated with the loss of someone or something that was important to you or that was a part of you.
We all are born with a sin nature, and have certain sinful tendencies. As believers, one of our goals should be to put that sin nature to death so we can obtain more of the life of Christ in us.
But sometimes, putting that thing to death and choosing Christ will cost you. You may have to leave friends behind, may be rejected even by your family, when you choose to follow Christ and seek to honor Him in your life.
Furthermore, you may (and most likely, will) have to get rid of things in your life that can easily lead you astray (Matthew 18:8, 9), drag you back into the world system or sin. I am speaking of things that are important to you. It may be family relationships; Or a chosen career or job; Or a favorite activity, which may not even be sinful of itself, but will keep you from following Christ.
Getting rid of these things will be like cutting off your own hand or foot, or plucking out your eye. It will hurt, you will feel the loss, you will even mourn and lament the loss. I (and Jesus, as well) guarantee it! But it is far better to cut it out of your life than keep it and end up in hell.
Again, though, God promises that when we experience loss as a result of following Him, we will receive a hundred times back from Him, both in this lifetime and, in the end, eternal life. We will find that it is worth it all when He comforts us. (Mark 10:30)