Happy Are The...
Discovering Joy In The Beatitudes
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN (Sample Chapter)
Jesus saying that in order to please Him we need to be constantly
sad and crying? Are those who are empathetic, those who feel the
pain of others and cry for them, are they the ones who will be blessed?
That seems contradictory. In order to be happy you need to be sad
all the time.
In the second beatitude Jesus says:
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Matthew 5:4
This does not make sense.
Happy are those who mourn?
Arent those opposites?
To understand this verse we need to ask two key questions: What
is the object of our mourning? Why are we mourning? The answer
is in scripture:
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God... produces
a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow
of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very
thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication
of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal,
what avenging of wrong! - 2 Corinthians 7:10-11
The sorrow, meaning the mourning, must be according to the will of
God, and it must be mourning that produces repentance without regret.
What Type of Mourning is This?
Once you recognize you have nothing good to offer God (humbleness),
then youll see that all you do have is sin
disobeyed God. And that results in mourning over sin
over both your sin and the sin of others. This is the type of mourning
that produces repentance without regret.
"The man who is truly Christian is a man who mourns also
because of the sins of others. He does not stop at himself. He sees
the same thing in others. He is concerned about the state of society,
and the state of the world, and as he reads the newspaper he does
not stop at what he sees or simply express disgust at it. He mourns
because of it... He knows that it is all due to sin; and he mourns
because of it." D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, Studies In
The Sermon On The Mount, page 48
One of the most often memorized verses in the Bible is John 11:35,
Jesus wept. It is short so its an easy one to memorize.
But, it says something important. This verse is part of the story
of Lazarus, who lay dead and decaying in a tomb for four days before
Jesus raised him from the dead.
Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and
fell at His feet, saying to Him, Lord, if You had been here,
my brother would not have died. When Jesus therefore saw her
weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply
moved in spirit and was troubled, 34 and said, Where have
you laid him? They said to Him, Lord, come and see.
Jesus wept. John 11:32-35
Why Did Jesus Weep?
Yes, he was weeping out of love for Lazarus. But, He knew Lazarus
would soon be alive again. So there really was not much of a reason
to weep for Lazarus. There was another, more serious reason to weep.
Lazarus was apparently a well-known person. Many people had come
to his home to mourn his death. Jesus was surrounded by people. They
were crying and wailing over the death of Lazarus, but they didnt
truly understand death. They were sinners, dead in their sins. Lost
and without a Savior.
Jesus was not weeping for Lazarus, He was weeping in grief over
sin. He knew the sin of each person in the crowd around Him. Jesus
knew they were about to witness the greatest miracle He had ever done.
And He also knew few would turn from their sin and trust Him to give
them life. Jesus was mourning because most people love their sin so
much that even after seeing someone raised from the dead, they would
not turn away from sin and trust Him to give them life. Do you mourn
and weep over your sin?
Being poor in spirit means we understand we are sinners and we have
nothing good in us, nor is there anything good we can bring to God.
This leads to Godly sorrow over sin. We mourn over our sin, as well
as the sin that saturates the world. And our Godly mourning leads
to repentance... a turning away from sin and toward obeying God. Mourning
over sin leads to our rejecting sin and seeking to obey God in everything.
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