“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” -Matthew 5:4
Our society is no longer sick about sin. Instead, sin many times is glorified and rather than seeking repentance it is celebrated. Those who feel remorse over sinful thoughts and behaviors are quick to post it on social media because they know they will have a group of people telling them that everything is fine and that they shouldn’t be worried. They find comfort not by having forgiveness from God but from losing the understanding that sin is a horrible thing.
We also know of those who have suffered loss of a love loved one or have endured some deep hurt in their life. We know that the Christian life is not always filled with joy and laughter. Sometimes we mourn and as Luke’s account of the Sermon on the Mount recounts this beatitude, “Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh,” we know that there are present times of intense pain but we have a hope of future joy and consolation. What a promise in Psalm 126:5, “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
The word “mourn” as opposed to sorrow denotes loud crying, such as the lament for the dead or for a severe painful loss. But what exactly are we mourning over here? Keeping in mind that Jesus is inaugurating His Kingdom and reign, we are reminded that Jesus is talking about those who are the citizens of His. With that thought the primary work of Jesus is salvation and to see this applied here is only natural.
The first beatitude dealt with our own acknowledgement of inability to save ourselves. In that same train of thought, we must not only understand that, we must become sick of our sin. The sorrow for our sins in true contrition should not be excluded from this mourning. Behind this sorrow lies the recognition of the merciless power of sin and our helplessness to ward it off and escape. Here we recognize that sin is still a horrible thing. It still brings people to ruin and rot but thank God there is redemption. Our sin and the sin of others should bring us to tears because sin is a great terror to our souls. May we all cry out as Paul does in Romans 7:24, “O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this death?”
Still, there is comfort for the sinful that mourns over their soul for “they shall be comforted.” Notice the use of the emphatic “they.” Why the emphasis? Because, they are the only ones who shall be consoled! With what comfort shall they receive over mourning for their sins? As Paul continues to exclaim at the sight of his sin, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:25). We receive consolation, peace, and forgiveness of our sins because of Jesus Christ. Thank the Lord!
Are you sincerely repentant of your sins? Has any evil way or thought crept into your life that you have not had genuine sorrow over? Yes, we know that we are not supposed to sin and “if any sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 Jn. 2:1). But if you are a believer were you even bothered by your sin? If you have lost the ability to mourn over sin it is time to reflect once again on what grand mercy God has given to us and where we would be without it.