Summary: Those who mourn and grieve over the spiritual state of a people will receive the blessing of God’s comfort.
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."
ILL: mourning when my father died (loss, shock, tears, funeral, regret, healing)
What was Jesus thinking? No fun in mourning!
Promise of comfort for the bereaved - resurrection for all who are in Christ.
Jesus talking about mourning something else.
1. WHO ARE THOSE WHO MOURN?
Beatitudes primarily spiritual application:
- poor in spirit
- hungry for righteousness
- pure in heart
- the persecuted
’Those who mourn’ has a spiritual meaning also.
A. THOSE WHO MOURN FOR THE NATION
Isa 40.1 - ’Comfort, comfort my people,’ says your God. 2 ’Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.’
Isa 51.3 - The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.
Isaiah prophetically writing about the destruction of Jerusalem - judgment for sin, ruins and wasteland. But God would restore.
In Jesus day many righteous people lamented humiliation of Israel under foreign rule - they mourned for the state of their people.
ILL: Tommy Tenney The God Chasers - Argentine revival. 50 students praying for 50 days - day after day of weeping and interceding, not for self but for nation. Born of the Spirit. After 6 hours one student stood in a puddle of his own tears.
Extreme example - but shows how God views what is happening to his world.
B. THOSE WHO MOURN BECAUSE OF SIN
Another kind of mourning the Bible speaks of is mourning over sin.
James 4.8 - Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
Why should we ’grieve, mourn and wail’. Haven’t we got a lot to celebrate in Jesus?
James 4.4 - You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.
Ouch! Sin is a terrible malady - friendship with the world is hatred towards God! Those who see their sin as God sees it have cause for sorrow. It is killing us.
C. ARE WE THOSE WHO MOURN?
Jesus says those who mourn - those who are grieved over the spiritual state of the world and their own sin - they are the one’s who are blessed.
Do you grieve for the state of our nation?
God created humans male and female, marriage for life (Gen 1-2)
- but homosexual adoption a reality in WA
- legalising prostitution being considered even though leads to oppression and crime
We are created in God’s image, sacred (Gen 1)
- 1000’s of abortions each year, also lead to guilt and depression in mothers
- creating and destroying human embryos for cloning research now legal
Do we mourn over sin?
- Consumerism is environmentally killing our planet and fosters global injustice
- People can’t see Christ in us when we are snuggling up to the world and its values
2. THE COMFORT WE RECEIVE FROM GOD
Doesn’t seem right - the world is blessed! No ethical dilemmas. Nothing wrong.
How does God comfort us?
A. FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION
1John 1.8-2.1 - When we confess our sins he forgives, atones, cleanses
Jas 4 - when we humble ourselves God lifts us up. When we draw near to him, he draws near to us
1Cor 15.56 says the sting of death is sin - that is the poison that brings death. Through Christ’s death on the cross the poison has been drawn out, we no longer fear death.
Many people struggle with their sins - never sure of forgiveness. We have certainty.
BUT - it is those who mourn who know this comfort, not the unrepentant.
B. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE COMFORTER
In John 14-15 Jesus promised another advocate or comforter - comes from same Greek word as comfort in this verse.
Someone to come alongside, encourage, stand with us
Ironic, H.S.’ presence causes us to grieve over sin, also brings comfort
ILL: Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned in Communist Romania for many years and frequently tortured on account of his faith, wrote of this joy: ‘Alone in my cell, cold, hungry and in rags, I danced for joy every night . . . sometimes I was so filled with joy that I felt I would burst if I did not give it expression.’