Summary: This sermon is on the second beatitude, "Blessed are those who mourn." It looks at the process of mourning and how we can experience God's comfort during these times, such as realizing God's with us, our need to release the hurt, and more.
Sermon On The Mount
“Blessed Are Those Who Mourn”
Have you noticed how our culture embraces entertainment and the pursuit of pleasure at any and all costs? Most of life today is spent avoiding sorrow and pain. Even when we get bad news, some people will say something funny to lighten the mood.
The mantra of our day is “Blessed are those who laugh their way through life.” Most people will do almost anything to stifle sadness or to stop a tear from falling.
But Solomon concluded,
“Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.” (Proverbs 14:13 NIV)
There’s a poem that speaks volumes to this reality.
“I walked a mile with Pleasure, she chatted all the way
But left me none the wiser for all she had to say
I walked a mile with Sorrow and not a word said she
But oh, the things I learned when sorrow walked with me.”
Jesus said it this way,
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)
This statement is rather paradoxical when you think about it. Jesus is saying,
“Happy are those who are unhappy,” or
“There’s gladness in sadness.”
John Stott said,
“It is one thing to be spiritually poor and acknowledge it; it is another to grieve and mourn over it. Confession is one thing, contrition (or repentance) is another.”
As mush as the thought of being poor in spirit is diametrically opposed to the wisdom of our day, so is the thought that happiness could be connected to mourning. And that’s because the world tries to avoid mourning.
Everything the world offers is designed to promote happiness, yet, the Lord says blessed, that is, those who are privileged recipients of God’s divine favor, are those who mourn.
Now, of the different words translated “to mourn,” Jesus uses the strongest one. It means to grieve or wail. It’s a deep sorrow that causes the soul to ache and the heart to break.
There are many ways that such grief grips our souls.
1. Mourning the Losses
All of us have experienced the pain of loss.
• As we get older we experience the loss of our health and we worry about the future,
• We’ve experienced the loss of a relationship, like a divorce, and it’s eating our hearts out, or
• We’ve lost a loved one and we cried ourselves to sleep.
King David experienced such sorrow
“I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears.” (Psalm 6:6 NLT)
Please know that such mourning is okay even Jesus cried. It says He wept at Lazarus’s tomb. Maybe you didn’t know but God cares so much for your sorrow that He collects your tears, Psalm 56:8.
Jesus cares for you and will comfort you in your time of mourning and grief. The reason is because He understands and knows what you’re going through. The writer of Hebrews tells us that He sympathizes with us because He went through the same things, Hebrews 4:15.
Further, the prophet Isaiah says that He was like us in that He was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, Isaiah 53: 3-4.
So Jesus knows, cares and will comfort us in our time of mourning.
2. Mourning Our Sinfulness
The Apostle Paul knew such grief over his sinful condition.
“Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” (Romans 7:24 NLT)
Over 250 years ago, David Brainerd, a missionary to the American Indians wrote,
“In my morning devotions my soul was exceedingly melted, and I bitterly mourned over my exceeding sinfulness and vileness.”
In the Apostle James’ letter he said,
“Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.” (James 4:9 NLT)
In Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son, the youngest son felt sorrow over his failures and sin and where it had gotten him in life, and it says that he came to himself, that is, he repented and returned to his father, not as his son, but as a servant, showing true sorrow.
And so we need to mourn, mourn over our sinful condition and move to make it right with God our Father.
3. Mourning the Condition of Others
Not only are we to mourn our own losses and sinful condition, but we also need to mourn the state of humanity and our world, not to mention the state that the church is in. the Apostle Paul demonstrated this for us in what he said to the elders of Ephesus.
“Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.” (Acts 20:31 NKJV)