The second Beatitude
The word mourn in the Bible is very deep and anguished filled. Check out this example taken from the time when Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and came in deceit to tell their father that Joseph had been killed….
- So Jacob tore his clothes, and put sackcloth on his loins and mourned for his son many days. Then all his sons and all his daughters arose to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted… And he said, “Surely I will go down to Sheol in mourning for my son.” So his father wept for him – Genesis 37:34-35
Mourning in the sense that Jesus speaks of in the Sermon on the Mount carries a note of intense focus, grief to the point of death. The Bible instructs that there at two targets for mourning – mourning for ourselves and mourning for others.
Mourning for ourselves
This form of mourning takes two very different pathways. In the first instance we can mourn for ourselves in our selfishness . This is the place of the pity party – of being sad that circumstances are working against us. The Word warns against this:
- You have become arrogant and have not mourned – 1 Corinthians 5:2
- Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. – Revelation 3:17
- Woe to you who are well-fed now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep – Luke 6:25
We mourn for ourselves in selfishness – we are victims of syndromes and “bad luck” But today we can change all that. Let today be the day when we turn from our selfishness; let’s be quick to discern what it is that we grieve for; and when we feel disappointed and put out – just what is it that we are disappointed about – that we didn’t get what we wanted or when we wanted it. That someone didn’t feel about you as you do? Do you pout and rage because your needs are not being met?
There a second variety of mourning for ourselves, and that is the kind Jesus is prompting us to undertake. This is mourning at our sinfulness. We must remember just how poor we are without Christ. This is the beginning of all repentance. We so frequently find laugher and joy in our indulgences – drunkenness, fornication, envy, slander, sensuality, ETCETERA. Bible Ground is to mourn about our sinfulness – about our tireless inclinations to turn away from God.
- Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom – James 4:9
- Do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God – Romans 6:13.
We must mourn about our lust for the old ways – we must flee those circumstances and relationships which promote and protect sin. But how do we get to this point? How do we shed our sinful inclinations. We must view sin as God does, that we are dead to sin and alive to Christ. That we can choose to get out of our pity-party
- Lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us – Romans 6:11
Mourning for Others
We must grieve and mourn for the souls of Others. We must abandon our judgements of them, as if we are better than them. We must remember that people without Christ are in the grip of the devil.
- The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God – 2 Corinthians 4:4
It is our lot to pray effectively for the lost, to live determined to play our part in bringing some to repentance – for all people are God’s people, not just Believers.
- And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people – Ephesians 6:15
- …to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in God – Acts 26:18
The reward for Those Who Mourn
Each act of obedience to Christ’s call in the Sermon on the Mount also contains a promise… and in this case, those who mourn will be comforted. Note first this is not a maybe thing. When you mourn for your behaviors that sent Christ to the Cross – when you look out as Christ did and proclaim the fields are ripe for harvest – you shall be comforted. But what of this comfort? Bible Ground is very specific about the nature of Comfort.
- Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God – 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Note first, Jesus has God as His Father – just like you and I. This verse reminds us of His humanity. Jesus understood mourning, He also understood comfort – that The God Who Sees (El Roi) looks with compassion and is the owner and possessor of all comfort. There is nothing missing from the word all. It is also very important to notice why we are comforted – that we might yet comfort others. As we learn to mourn over our sinfulness; as we learn to mourn for the souls of others – we will be comforted in order to offer comfort to others. What a cool thing. Please enjoy the video. Lord bless you as you go.