Matthew 5:4 reads,
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
The second beatitude seems almost backwardly confusing. How can someone who mourns be happy? Mourning is expressing sorrow and grief. The Greek word translated to mourn in this verse is pentheó. Strong’s concordance defines it as “to grieve over a death or a personal hope (relationship) that comes to divine closure. It is manifested grief so severe it takes possession of a person and cannot be hid.” (Strong's). Blessed means happy and to be envied. (Strong).
How can lamenting that intense be something that give you happiness or a reason to be envied? Because they will be comforted. They won’t be comforted with clichés or empty words. They will be comforted by truth and love. They are comforted by God Himself.
What was your reaction when you realized the depth of your sin compared to God’s holiness? What was your response when you grasped what Jesus had done for you? If you are like me, even now, when you consider your sin there is a deep heaviness of your soul for a moment, a sadness so deep that it should overwhelm you. But the Comforter reminds you that Jesus loves you so completely that your sinful soul was healed by the wounds of His crucifixion and that because of that you are called a Friend of God and a child of our Awesome Father. He repeats to you, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1). He tells you again who Jesus is and what He has done. Isaiah 61:1-4 reads,
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion--
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
4 They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.”
That is not only a reason to be happy but to be overjoyed, jubilant, and celebrate. It is reason enough to praise God for eternity.
And though we sometimes feel like all hope is gone, though we ache and strain for those we’ve lost and miss, though we sometimes think we cannot endure one more struggle, He reminds us of we do have hope. Eternity is waiting for us and with us now. Some of our loved ones have died and we miss them horribly, but this life on earth is not the end. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 reads,
“But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
The lost cannot be comforted by that truth. They do not have the hope of Jesus. There are no words that can comfort them. Only Jesus can bring them the consolation and succor they desperately need. But until they acknowledge it, feel it and express it, He will wait.
Strong. (n.d.). 3701. makarios. Retrieved from Strong's Concordance: http://biblehub.com/greek/3107.htm
Strong's. (n.d.). 3996. pentheó. Retrieved from Strong's Concordance: http://biblehub.com/greek/3996.htm