How can a person who is mourning be happy or fulfilled? How can they feel blessed? Jesus said in verse 4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Here is the key: when we have seen the depth of the world’s suffering, when we can see the depth of our own sin, and it breaks our heart, we can grow and find fulfillment through the comfort of God.
What Jesus is telling us here is simply another shade of humility. I have known people and I myself have experienced doing something wrong (sinning) and justifying the behavior, indeed, accepting the sin. Very often we the wonder why things went wrong? Why the pain? We often then live in the daily denial of our own sin.
But here is the good news: Jesus tells us that as we humble ourselves, admit and mourn our own sin, that we will indeed be comforted. How could that be you ask? What I have seen in my life is that it is only when I admit my own failings that I can grow. As long as I am in denial I only grow deeper in the sin and suffer the consequences of it. You see the truth is, when there is healing….there is comfort.
This mourning also extends into mourning the sin we see in the world. I am not saying anything about “hating” it or speaking of activism. I believe that what Jesus is actually talking about is simply recognizing and mourning sin……seeing it for what it is. How many people do you know that live in anger, accept lying as the best route, live with a judgmental spirit, hate in their hearts, unforgiveness in their hearts or live with revenge and find ways to justify it rather than deal with it’s reality as a sin in their lives?
When we walk through the valley of the shadow death (this is not just when someone dies), but means more at distressing times in our lives, Jesus walks with us. Indeed, when we face the sin in our lives, it can be pretty distressing. The point is that as we follow Jesus and seek His presence in our lives, He will help us, be with us, and will be our comfort. In fact, I believe that as we wrestle with our own sin, we are on the path of true fulfillment and strength in our lives. And…that’s comforting!
Psalms 23:4 (TNIV)
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, [of the shadow of death] I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The Hebrew word here translated as “the shadow of death” is “sal-ma-wet”, which means time of deep gloom, a time of darkness in our lives. We can be happy because we know that even in these deep times of darkness in our lives…..that these times are survivable with God’s help.
I would also point out that the attitude of mourning is an attitude of caring deeply. When we care deeply, we are cared for deeply by the Father. It also means that although we are sorry for the sinful state of the world, we recognize that there is hope. We realize that Jesus provided a cure for our sins and the sins of the world. This hope and acknowledgement is a blessing.
Without God, without hope, without His comfort……we have nothing…..life just gets darker.
Matthew 5:4 (TNIV)
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
May you see sin for what it is and deal with it in your life rather than live in denial of it’s presence. May you seek the face of Jesus and find comfort in His blessing!