Jesus begins the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 by giving us the spiritual recipe for true happiness. The Greek word for “Blessed” we see at the beginning of every statement in the beatitudes literally means “happy.” Last week we talked about how we can be happy when we are humble or poor in spirit. This week we look at Matthew 5:4 where Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
This is completely upside down when compared to what the world says will lead to happiness. To many people, this concept is confusing. Blessed are those who feel that all is lost? Blessed are those who are working through tragedies that have shaken their worlds? The good news lies in how the verse ends: “… for they will be comforted.” We don’t need to mourn forever. No matter how devastating the tragedy, how intense the feeling of loss; in the end, there is comfort. Because there is comfort, we can be happy even after mourning. First, though, we must pass through the season of mourning, for happy are those who let themselves mourn and who do so with all their hearts.
When we have let go, when we have allowed ourselves to go through these overwhelming emotions, God can come in and comfort us and bless us in ways we never experienced before. Unfortunately, Satan also knows that giving people time to mourn will only help them in the end, so he works hard to put pressure on those who need to mourn, trying to get them to give up their right to do so.
He whispers lies such as, “Be brave, don’t cry.” “If you let others see you cry, they’ll never respect you again.” Or, “It really isn’t that bad. You should be over it by now.” So people often give in to the myths, “toughen up” and don’t let their mourning go full circle. This is especially true of losses that society doesn’t understand, such as miscarriages and stolen childhoods. Yet, these need to be mourned so that they can be released.
Humanity’s mourning began when Adam and Eve lost Eden and experienced the brutal murder of their second son, Abel, by his older brother, Cain (Genesis 3 and 4). The dictionary tells us that to mourn is “to experience grief and express sorrow,” but the old testament prophets added another dimension: sorrow for sin and its consequences (Jeremiah 6:26). Fortunately, we are not alone in our sorrow. The Bible tells us that God feels our suffering deeply. Jesus is the King of glory, but he is also a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering (Isaiah 53:3).
“Jesus wept” (John 11:35) when he heard the news of the passing of his friend Lazarus.
He helps us to understand that “he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4).
During Jesus’ ministry on earth, “when he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matthew 9:36).
Jesus has promised, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Mourning is a normal emotion that, because of our sin-filled world, we each will experience at some point in our life. God’s comfort can be compared with that of a loving mother, for he assures us, “as a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you” (Isaiah 66:13). This Sunday at South Side we will continue in our series and take a moment to honor our wonderful mothers! We hope to see you there for fellowship and coffee at 10:30, and worship at 10:45!
South Side Church of Christ