Blessed are they who mourn for they will be comforted.
The Lord surprises us with the second blessing of the Beatitudes. He says that there is something to be gained from mourning: The comfort of God.
Life is filled with uncertainties. The path we walk in life will bring heartache and mourning, that we can be sure of, but how much misery shall we experience in life? Isn’t mourning to be avoided, so why has Christ promised us a blessing if we mourn? Is this mere consolation or is there an attitude that He is recommending, a change in our values and even a change in our entire value system? What type of mourning is He describing?
We receive comfort during heartache and loss. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Paul wrote of the comfort we receive from God, the Father of Compassion and the God of all Comfort. This comfort is to be received in our moments of need and then from the overflow the comfort of God is shared with others.
The word “comforted” in biblical Greek shares the same root with paraklete, the word translated Comforter, Counselor, and Advocate (John 14:16). It literally means someone called to be along side of us, and describes the work of the Spirit in our lives. Jesus demonstrated this when He comforted the grieving Mary and wept beside her (John 11:35). God heals the brokenhearted with His presence and when we experience disappointments it is essential realize that some of the deepest experiences we have with God come only through the avenue of grief and loss, when he weeps with us.
But we also mourn for our lost world. Though no one is more joyful than a Christian, we also see the fallen-ness of the world more clearly and more profoundly than anyone else. We weep and mourn when we see the heartache and pain of the world, when we see how our race’s rebellion against God has resulted in lives damaged and hearts hardened. As we follow Christ our hearts are broken by the things that break the heart of God. But there is profound comfort from God in this experience, for when we mourn for the troubles of the world, He is near us and we have the calming influence and the peace of His presence.
We also mourn for our own sin. We cannot see the immorality of the world without also being made aware of our own failings. The Spirit of Christ convicts us and takes us to the cross of Calvary where we see the Savior crucified, crucified for us. Like Peter did, we often weep bitterly for our own failures. But that is where God surprises us most as He comes alongside of us to assure us of our forgiveness and to invite us to know His heart.
Holy Spirit of God, our Counselor and Comforter and Friend, the Spirit of Christ our Savior, we praise and worship You. We mourn for our losses, for our sinfulness, and for our fallen world. Let us tonight experience Your presence, Your healing closeness to our hearts. Let Your presence and comfort over flow in our lives so that we might share this good news of Your presence with others.