Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
This verse is nearly an oxymoron. “Happy are those who mourn.” If they were happy, they wouldn’t be mourning. If they are mourning, then they are not happy. But, again, the happiness, the deeper inner joy, and the comfort are not in the present situation.
The rabbis referred to the Messiah as the “Comforter.” Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the “Comforter” as well (John 14:16-17). But, we have some misunderstandings about comfort.
If you are comfortable, you don’t need a comforter. Jesus didn’t come to comfort the comfortable, and thus make us more comfortable.The end goal of our relationship with Christ isn’t comfort. It’s salvation.
I would go so far as to say that our comfort gets in the way of our relationship with God at times. We have to be “poor in spirit” (Matthew 5:3) to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. For some of us, our comfort should cause us to mourn because it’s keeping us from God’s blessings in our lives. It’s distracting us from Kingdom work.
But, there are those who mourn. Why? They mourn because the world, by and large, is a terrible place. Who would have imagined that in the 21st century the world would still be plagued with war, human trafficking, hunger, piracy on the high seas, injustice, slavery, extreme poverty, racism and so many other things? The condition of our world and our culture should cause us to mourn.
Most people have suffered considerable losses in their lives. They’ve lost their hopes and dreams. They’ve lost their retirement or their livelihood. They’ve lost family and close friends. Our losses cause us to grieve and mourn. We can’t sweep them under the rug, but sometimes we can’t face them either. What do we do?
We turn to our Comforter. Ultimately, He will right every wrong and put things in order. The world will be transformed. Just not right now. We believe that God is a just God (Isaiah 30:18). It’s one of His divine attributes. We mourn the slowness of God’s justice.
One day Jesus “will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4). But, what about today?
From Celebrate Recovery, we learn to “Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to him, and that he has the power to help me recover.” You might be thinking “Recovery? I don’t need recovery.” If you are mourning something today, if your life is overcome by deep sadness, then you need recovery. You need to know that you matter to God. You need to know that He has the power, on His terms, to help you through your current circumstance and every circumstance after that.
What are you mourning today? What injustice or unfairness enrages you? As we trust in Jesus, He will bring comfort.
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