“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5: 4)
Who are “those who mourn”?
- The “blessedness” literally means the state of being happy or blessed! In that sense, this beatitude seems contradictory, for how can one be happy, when he is mourning or sad?!
- There can be various reasons for mourning. It could be due to:
- loss of a loved one or job or any other kind of personal loss (Jesus heals Jairus’ daughter)
- suffering from sickness or disease (Jesus Heals the Woman with Blood Issue)
- personal sin, mistakes or failures
- mourning along with those who are afflicted or suffering
- mourning for the ‘Lost’ and for the ‘Kingdom of God to come.’
- People react differently during their time of mourning or suffering.
- Some people may try to replace it with something else. They try to engross themselves in the worldly pleasures, assuming that it may ease their pain.
- Some may try to run away from it. When they cannot bear the pain, they just run away from it, by means of alcohol or drugs.
- Many try to recover from it, thinking that the time is the greatest healer.
- And there are few, who turn to God to finding rest and restoration in their time of suffering and pain. (Matthew 11:28-30 – “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”)
Godly Sorrow vs. Worldly Sorrow
- It is fascinating that the Bible talks about two kinds of sorrow.
- 2 Cor 7:10: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” We can understand these different types of sorrow from two famous events during the Crucifixion of Jesus.
- Peter: When Peter denied Jesus three times, he “wept bitterly”. (Matthew 26:69-75). He was grieving for his failures, but this led him to repentance and towards Jesus.
- Judas: The very next passage talks about Judas. He also was “seized with remorse” when he realized his wrongdoing. (Matthew 27:1-10). But instead of repentance, his sorrow led him to commit suicide. His remorse may have been of a worldly nature therefore resulting in his death.(literally “death” according to 2 Cor 7:10)
- So, in the light of this beatitude, any sorrow or mourning which leads up to God as the source of comfort and strength is a “Godly sorrow”. God will comfort those who turn to Him.
Comfort – Calling Near
- The Greek word for ‘comforted’ is ‘parakaleo’ which means ‘to call to the side of’, or ‘to call near’. The comfort, which God offers, is not just consoling or soothing, it is much more than that. When we turn to God in our suffering, God calls us to His side, He comforts us and comes to our rescue.
- It is in our suffering that we seek God earnestly. (Also read, Yoke in the Bible – Word Study)
James 4:8 – “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
Psalms 145:18 – “The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on him in truth.”
We often complain about God’s silence during our time of need or suffering. But this Beatitude (blessedness) portrays a very different picture. God is calling us near, He is always ready to comfort us and all we need to do is to respond to Him. (Matthew 11:28-30)
To summarize, this Beatitude at its core, brings the “Message of Hope” for those who mourn or are hurt. One can try to ignore it, or escape it, but we can find true comfort and rest only in Jesus.
Next – Part 3: Blessed are the Meek: Beatitudes Bible Study Series
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