The Blessing of Mourning -Ben Robertson



Matthew 5:4

New King James Version (NKJV)

4 Blessed are those who mourn,

For they shall be comforted

Here we are again. Jesus is saying “Blessed are those who mourn”. It seems impractical. Seems that it would be hard to walk up to someone who is “in mourning” and say “You are blessed”. But, that is an awkwardly true statement. Not one I would offer to someone in mourning, but true none the less, and for people who know Jesus, a statement that will, in time, ring true. See the blessing will come in the promise; the second part of the verse. “For they will be comforted”. There are several names that refer to Jesus in the Bible, some include “Branch”, “Bread”, “Word”, “Christ”, but I think the one that applies here is “Wonderful Counselor”. See, if we never mourn, then we will never truly know that characteristic of Jesus first hand. As I write this, my wife's family have gathered at a local hospital in Anchorage, AK. To, probably say “good-byes” to her grandmother. My wife loves her family, most of them live in Alaska or in the western U.S. But life has brought her to Tennessee. As she is waiting on the call, she is going about, going through baby clothes and doing things around the house. How do you explain that peace? If it weren't for her relationship with Jesus, I'm sure she would be in a terrible predicament. She is seven and a half months pregnant and thousands of miles away, and though she will mourn, she has Jesus-The Wonderful Counselor. She doesn't have to worry about never seeing her grandmother again, because she has the promise of God that she HASN'T seen her grandmother for the last time. That's a real Blessing! That's the difference between being “happy” and having “joy”. You can have joy, even when life in a fallen world takes happiness out the back door!

That is where my heart breaks for the lost. To face life without Jesus is hard enough, but to face death, whether self or loved ones, is where the term “lost” comes full circle, and I hate it for them! It breaks my heart, and it should break the heart of any believer, to see people in mourning and see, in their eyes, that they see the end. That the last words they spoke to a loved one is the last ones ever. No second chance, no last “I love you”. It's sad, and it should be all the motivation we need to evangelize.

So, here is the promise. Isaiah 61 starts with a “Servant Song”. It's one of several. Keep in mind that this was prophesied some seven hundred years before the birth of Christ!

Isaiah 61

New King James Version (NKJV)

61 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me,

Because the Lord has anointed Me

To preach good tidings to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives,

And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,

And the day of vengeance of our God;

To comfort all who mourn,

3 To console those who mourn in Zion,

To give them beauty for ashes,

The oil of joy for mourning,

The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;

That they may be called trees of righteousness,

The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Then Jesus quotes this prophecy in Luke as He begins His ministry in Nazareth and His claim that the Prophecy was fulfilled in Him resulted in the first attempt on His life (Luke 4:16-30)

But God has the last word. That's the point. The world says “Be happy at all costs” the world says “throw away what brings you down, whether it be a marriage or a child or a relationship or whatever makes you unhappy-even if it is a temporary downturn that is far outshined by the joy” God says-seek joy, and with it will come mourning, but He will walk you through it, He will counsel you, He has already conquered death, Hell and the grave so YOU don't have to. And, meet Jesus:The Wonderful Counselor! And then, spread that comfort around:

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

New King James Version (NKJV)

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

So, once again, how do we do it? What does it look like in our lives? Once again, God gives us that instruction also:

James 4:7-10

New King James Version (NKJV)

7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Once again, It doesn't sound like good news. Until, you get to the promise! HE WILL LIFT YOU UP!

In Psalm 51, David is mourning over his own sin. He had committed adultery and murder, but David was a “Man after God's own heart” not because he was perfect, but because he was repentant and helpless, by his own admission, without God! But he claims God's promise and even promises to teach others God's ways-even in the midst of his repentance, he is promising to teach others what is right. David was a passionate man, as was Paul, Peter and most of the other heroes of the Bible, and with passion, often, comes hasty mistakes. But God, obviously, uses passionate people, as long as it is accompanied by repentance, humility and pure intentions.

So mourning is part of life. It comes to the believer, maybe more often, than the non-believer. But, what we do have is the eternal promise of God! Happiness in mourning may be impossible but joy, joy in knowing that our loved one is with Christ, face-to-face, and a goodbye is only temporary-THAT is the promise of the Wonderful Counselor.

God Bless,

From The Back Pew!

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