Those Who Mourn
The Beatitudes are divine blessings pronounced on those of godly character. These attributes are required for those who wish to enter the kingdom of heaven. The second of these blessings is prescribed for “those who mourn”. Matthew 5:4 (NKJV) 4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Grief is a state none of us prefer to be in. Why are those who mourn blessed?
An examination of the comfort found in Christ will reveal the type of sorrow and the reason they are blessed. Isaiah spoke of future comfort for God’s people during Israel’s Assyrian captivity. Isaiah 40:1-2 (NKJV) 1 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. 2 “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the LORD’s hand Double for all her sins.”
Just as Israel was promised eventual rest from war, Christians are granted comfort during tribulation. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 (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.
Comfort also comes from pardon for sin. Not only are those who are forgiven comforted, those who minister to them are also provided comfort. Paul speaks of the comfort afforded him and Titus by learning of the Corinthians’ repentance. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10 (NKJV) 9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:13 (NKJV) 13 Therefore we have been comforted in your comfort. And we rejoiced exceedingly more for the joy of Titus, because his spirit has been refreshed by you all.
A secondary benefit of pardon for sin is the comfort for loss of loved ones who die in the Lord. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 (NKJV) 13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
Comfort comes from God’s word. Our faith is bolstered by the certainty of the old law and unity in the new. Romans 15:4-6 (NKJV) 4 For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. 5 Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, 6 that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who mourn are those who are grieved by sin. Not only do we mourn for our own sins, but for the sins of others. In return, God turns our sorrows into joy. He comforts us during tribulation. God forgives our sins and lifts the weight of guilt from our hearts. He provides hope and an eternal perspective through His word. We find joy, even in the loss of those dearest to us, knowing what waits in heaven. Revelation 21:4 (NKJV) 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” We are blessed indeed! 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NKJV) 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.