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Christians in our time have much to think about when it comes to God’s moral law being violated. We see people taking fervent stands for things that stand in direct opposition to what Scripture teaches as morally correct and right. This can cause us to either place our heads in the sand or open our mouths and speak the truth in love. The choice is ours, but I hope this study provides some incentive for us all.
The beginning of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount includes a series of “blessed” sayings that are called the Beatitudes. Our verse today is the second one that says: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
When someone uses the word “mourning,” the first thing that comes to mind is what we all go through when we lose a loved one. The sadness that we are immersed within when someone close to us has been taken away by death. A study in the meaning of the Greek word can support this idea, but I think context in these Beatitudes supports a nuanced meaning. A deeper meaning comes through when we ask ourselves who or what these blessed mourners are mourning. Does this verse mean that a continually immoral and violent criminal is blessed by God when he mourns the loss of his friend that was killed in a gang shootout? I don’t see that in the Bible. God blesses those who love Him and believe His commandments to be truth that governs their decisions. We must then ask ourselves what mourners is Jesus speaking of?
James 4:7-10 gives us a clear picture of mourning that is blessed by God. We read: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” I believe this is the mourning that Jesus is speaking of here in Matthew 5:4 when he says “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
We are to mourn our state in the presence of an awesome God. We are to be saddened by the state of our world and not find peace and happiness in its’ trivialities. We are to mourn for the people in our world that are under His wrath. Let us mourn out of the care that He has for them, and let us allow this mourning to drive our efforts in teaching people about His grace that pulls us all from the judgment that we deserve.
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Matthew 5:4 – “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”