Sermon on the Mount: Blessed are Those who Mourn
““Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Matthew 5:4 NASB1995
The second Beatitude is focused on the mourning and grief that are constants in our lives. I am still mourning the loss of my parents, even though my Mom died over 15 years ago and my Dad 14 years ago. Jesus wept when confronted with the reality of the death of Lazarus. I shed tears over other sorrows and injustices, too. I cry with regret and repentance over the sins I have committed in my life now and when I was wandering in the wilderness of unbelief. I an anguished to see people die in tragic and what seem to be senseless ways, in horrible accidents or natural disasters or murdered by terrorists or criminals or disturbed individuals or even family members. I am broken beyond belief at the number of unborn children who have been tossed aside for convenience in abortions in this country; God is the creator of life and we throw it away but instead we should pray for both the unborn child and the mother to be supported and help where we can. I weep over the lost who have not found their way to our Savior and for Christian martyrs who die for their faith (this happens in many places in the world). I feel sorrow for young people who are confused about their identity and consider suicide. I pray with fervor about people caught up in drug abuse or human trafficking or homelessness. I suffer knowing how many people are fighting cancer or serious health issues. It is a fallen world and our sense of compassion is fueled from God’s love and compassion.
If you look at the world, you can see how eager our culture is to hide grief and mourning, to replace it with distractions and foolishness and entertainment. Do not hide grief or brush it aside. God comes to bring comfort. When my Mom died, Steve had to leave on a business trip after the funeral. I was alone and in my deep grief, crying myself to sleep, when I sensed arms wrapped around me comforting me. Blessed Savior!
Here again is an excellent excerpt from a sermon by Brian Bill. I apologize, because I misnamed him in the devotional on Matthew 5:3 (I can’t correct that after the fact):
1. God draws near to those who cry. Psalm 34:18 says that God is close to us when we cry. Even when things seem overwhelming and impossible to you, comfort is coming.
2. God uses suffering and sorrow to draw us to himself. In Psalm 34:4, we read that David’s fears caused him to seek the Lord. Someone put it this way: “You’ll never know if Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.” Comfort is coming.
3. We grow faster in hard times than we do in good times. Romans 5 reminds us that suffering leads to perseverance, which leads to character growth, which produces hope. Comfort is coming.
4. Our pain helps us minister to others. When we’re at a loss because of our losses, when we cry over the condition of others, when our own sins give us exceeding sorrow, and when we weep over the condition of our world, according to 2 Corinthians 1:4, God will comfort us “so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” This is the same word that is used in Matthew 5:4. Comfort is coming.
The next devotional will examine the Beatitude in Matthew 5:5: Blessed are the gentle [meek], for they shall inherit the Earth.
Photo by The Good Funeral Guide on Unsplash