May 2, 2021
The Beatitudes – The Forgotten Blessing of Mourning | Matthew 5:4
On May 2, 2021, Pastor Eric continued his sermon series on the beatitudes.
Matthew 5:4 states,
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
People mourn for all kinds of reasons. In the world today, people seek happiness and will do everything in their power to avoid mourning. This is not the kind of mourning that is referred to here. In the above verse, the meaning is spiritual.
In The Gospel of Matthew, William Barclay writes,
It is first of all to be noted about this beatitude that the Greek word for ‘to mourn’, used here is the strongest word for mourning in the Greek language… It is defined as the kind of grief which takes such a hold on a man that it cannot be hid. It is not only the sorrow which brings an ache to the heart; it is the sorrow which brings the unrestrainable tears to the eyes.
To mourn is to experience deep grief. What kind of grief is Jesus referring to here? What are we to mourn?
1.We are to mourn our sins. We are not to mourn due to sin’s consequences, but rather the sin itself. Mourning following a revelation from God or grieving the Holy Spirit allows our hearts to be transformed, giving place to true repentance. Before we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we are spiritually bankrupt. We mourn because we are sinful and we fail to meet God’s perfect standard. We see our sinful nature for what it truly is. It is not self-pity or self-condemnation – it’s taking time to grieve over our sin, because we hurt and dishonoured God. James 4:8-10 states,
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
The closer we are to God, the more we will mourn over our sin. Sin is serious – it cost our Saviour his life. Unless there is true mourning of sin, there won’t be true repentance.
2.We are to mourn the sins of others. We are good at pointing fingers at others. However, we need to mourn our own sins before we look at anyone else. Notice the psalmist’s reaction,
Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed (Psalm 119:136)
And Nehemiah kneeled before God for days praying
…I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses. (Nehemiah 1:6-7)
When was the last time we prayed for others in this way? Our hearts are transformed when we mourn the sins of others. God’s heart grieves as well. When we weep for others, God softens our hearts and moves us to acts of compassion. He sent us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us and to comfort us. The Lord comforts everyone who mourns.
When we truly mourn, God comforts us in our afflictions. Godly sorrow brings us to true repentance. Our Father wants to heal and comfort us. Comfort is available to us today through the Holy Spirit. God will turn our mourning into true joy and praise, which will lead to true compassion in our lives and in the lives of others.