Summary: A book I read once was called "Good Grief" and it said that something good can come from losing a loved one. Jesus said to His disciples on the mountain,"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted". Why did Jesus teach this to His Disciples?
22/12/09 Pastorross | public entry | tags: , Good grief, Mourning, Repentance, Matthew 5, Sin | report
Matthew 5 - Part 3 - Good Grief!
I once read a counselling book about helping those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. The book was called "Good Grief" and it said that something good can come from our loss. Jesus said to His disciples on the mountain,
"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted". Why did Jesus teach this to the Disciples? What great leadership lesson is in that? It seems so basic. Is there more to this than meets the eye?
When my grandfather died I mourned my loss. I really loved him and missed him. I cried at his funeral. Though as a young boy I tried to be strong, great sobs welled up from within and I was left feeling the devastation of bereavement for some years to come. I have mourned over events that have taken place in my life that have hurt me deeply because of the loss that came through them. But what is Jesus trying to say here when he says...
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN - for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)?
In the original language this word for mourning is the strongest word for respect. It speaks of the deep mourning and wailing that wells up from the core of your soul over the death of a loved one. It is a desperate, helpless kind of sorrow.
Maybe Jesus is forewarning His disciples that one day there will come a time of mourning that will break their hearts. One day they would join His own mother in sobbing for the loss of her Son. Was He, even in the very early stages of His teaching, seeking to prepare His disciples for His own death?
I was reading a book called "Scared" the other day by Ken Davis. It is the story about a journalist in Africa and his encounter with an orphan girl who is starving. Although it is a novel, as I sat in the loungeroom reading, I felt a deep sorrow for the tragedy of her situation, and I could not contain it. Julie was sitting nearby as I began to quietly sob. I was unable to stop. I still find the emotions rising to the surface each time I think of what this young child endured at the hands of adults who were cruel and sinful in their actions. Is this the kind of sorrow of which Jesus spoke? A deep sorrow for sin, a broken heart over evil and suffering?
Is it the kind of sorrow we feel when we really see what it meant for Jesus to die on the Cross, and in brokenness and grief we fall at His feet in the dust, with sobs of repentance as we realize that our sins put Him there?
Do you mourn over your sin? It’s no use just feeling sorry about it. God wants us to do something about it. 2 Corinthians 7:10 (NLT) says that "...the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow."
If you mourn over your sin and fail to repent then your mourning has not meant anything.
2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)says "The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent."
When I studied at Hillsong Leadership College some years ago one of the lecturers, Cathy Calluccio, spoke to us about praying for the suffering of a lost world. I remember the time clearly because as we prayed, some people began to weep for the lost. The emotions are the response mechanism of the soul and we need them to motivate us to Godly action as we feel the desperate plight, terrible suffering and lost estate of others. Our world is spiritually dark and the tragedy of this lost generation seems only to weigh heavily upon the one who mourns with a broken heart. From such a heart issues compassion.
Jesus mourned for us, and His emotions resulted in great compassion to bring healing and wholeness.
"When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." (Matthew 9:36).
Hebrews 2:18 (NLT) says "Since He himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested."
Jesus, who wept over Jerusalem, knew sorrow and grief as He looked upon a lost generation. Isaiah 53:3-6 (NLT) says...
"He was despised and rejected- a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins! But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on Him the sins of us all." Such grief for a lost world led Jesus to die for our sins. As you place your trust in Him imagine what will it lead you to do? Good grief!
God bless you Church as you grieve for those who are lost and as your grief motivates you to share the message of salvation.