The Beatitudes, Part 2 - Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

Sunday, October 30, 2016

jesus hugging man

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

This second Beatitude is not about the act of weeping and wailing, but a deliberate lifestyle choice. I'm sure you know at least one person that always seems to be in constant mourning about something--they complain about their job; they are unhappy in their marriage; their family mistreats them; they have no friends; God is mad at them--the list goes on. It seems that they are always unhappy and see the worst in every situation. That is not mourning and the only thing they can look forward to is misery. They have no comfort and probably aren't interested in being comforted because then they wouldn't have anything to complain about.

A person who mourns is a person who has come to terms with the reality of who they truly are in light of God's grace. This Beatitude is a direct result of developing the first one--Blessed are the poor in spirit. When I come to the end of myself and realize that I am dependent upon God for everything, I will naturally become mournful. But this doesn't lead to a life of agony. It leads to happiness--a life of peaceful contentment which goes beyond the mere feeling of happiness. Mourning doesn't push me away from God because of the reality of who I am before Him. It actually pushes me towards Him.

We see this played out in Isaiah 6:5. Isaiah finds himself before the very presence of the Lord and he cries out, "Woe is me! I am ruined!" I wonder if Isaiah's gut reaction was to run away. But he didn't. He stayed because he understood that the presence of the Lord is the best place to be when you are ruined. Had he run away, he would have missed being transformed.

The goal of living a life of mourning is not sadness. The goal is comfort. Sure, I am sad that I fall so short of God's desire for me at times. There are days when I don't feel very good about myself but that is what leads to mourning which leads to finding His comfort. True comfort is realizing that God won't leave me where I am. When I am at my worst, He makes me my best. Mourning drives me to the feet of Jesus and it is at that place that He touches me and transforms my character.

Lord, teach us how to be mourners through the lifestyle of being poor in spirit!


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