Summary: Parts 3 - When our hearts break over our own sin…God comforts us with His grace.
Let’s play a word association game for a minute. When I say a word, just tell me what comes to your mind.
• Sorrow… distress caused by loss, affliction, disappointment, etc.; grief, sadness, or regret.
• Grief…. Keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret
• Mourn… (a) to feel or express sorrow or grief. (b) to feel or express sorrow or grief over (misfortune, loss, or anything regretted); deplore.
• Jealousy…jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself.
• Envy…a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.
Now you may be wondering what those last two are doing on the list. What do “jealousy” and “envy” have to do with mourning, sorrow and grief?
Both jealousy & envy involve sorrow. They are both a form of sorrow that is focused on the success of others while resenting the perceived absence or lack of something in our own lives.
Thomas Aquinas said, “Envy is sorrow at another’s good…” Envy is a sense of grieving that others have what we feel we lack.
ENVY (and I would say JEALOUSY) is rooted in scarcity…it is always focused on what we don’t have. envy and jealousy don’t recognize the blessings we do have…in fact they cannot recognize the blessings we have because they focus on what it is we think we don’t have…
I know that this has been true in my own life.
-Story of envying a friend who’s church was growing while mine wasn’t…I made excuses as to why his growth wasn’t real or wouldn’t last and secretly found satisfaction when he had difficulties. I actually grieved his successes and celebrated his failures/challenges…THIS IS THE SIN OF ENVY!!!
And every one of us in this room today has, at some point, fought our own private…and sometimes not so private…battle with envy. We find ourselves envying others, wishing that they weren’t successful and that we were, wishing that they didn’t have their gifts, or abilities, or possessions because we don’t have those same gifts, abilities and possessions. We find ourselves grieved that others have what we don’t.
Are you tracking with me? Are you willing to be honest and admit that envy has been or currently is an issue in your life?
Envy, jealousy, covetousness…these are all forms of sorrow…forms of mourning, grieving. We grieve for what we don’t have and we grieve for what others do have.
We grieve, or mourn, over our sense of loss…whether we should feel that loss or not is irrelevant. The fact is we do feel loss and we grieve that loss…we mourn.
The grieving that is envy and jealousy is a bad grief. It is misdirected mourning. Matt Hammett, pastor of the Flood in San Diego put it this way…”Envy is a misdirected desire for wholeness…” With envy we mourn because we are incomplete…which God wants us to understand…He wants us to recognize our lack of wholeness our lack of completeness…but envy, the desire to have what someone else does…is a misdirected attempt a wholeness because nothing that anyone else has will make us complete.
So how does Jesus address this sense of loss in our lives? How does Jesus deal with these issues of envy and jealousy? What is his response to the lack of wholeness in our lives? Let’s explore HIS call to an UPSIDE DOWN WAY OF LIFE and find the answer.
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5:1-12 (NIV)
BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, FOR THEY WILL BE COMFORTED.
Jesus’ pronouncement of blessedness is more than a just saying that we are “Happy.” It is an exclamation that happy, joyful, fulfilled are they because they are on the right path…they are experiencing the presence of God here and now. (WE COVERED THIS LAST WEEK)
So this happiness…this blessedness…that Jesus talks about is a result of being on the right path…moving towards God.