Day 3

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

from the The Beatitudes reading plan

Matthew 5:4, Isaiah 61:1-3, Romans 7:21-25, 2 Corinthians 7:8-10

BY Rebekah Lyons

Text: Matthew 5:4, Isaiah 61:1-3, Romans 7:21-25, 2 Corinthians 7:8-10

Fifteen years ago, during a bleak February chill, I awoke early and jumped in the shower, ready to head back to the hospital. I’d been without our firstborn son—still less than a week old—for almost eight hours. And it was killing me.

The phone rang, and I heard Gabe answer. I knew it was the doctor calling with the lab results. Sixty seconds crawled by before Gabe cracked open the bathroom door. Seeing the look on his face, I collapsed.

There will never be words to describe the pain I felt at that moment. I had no idea I was capable of such grief, yet there I was, wailing. I could not shed the anguish fast enough.

Gabe and I drove to the hospital in silence. I realized I didn’t know a single person with Down syndrome. I was ashamed I’d overlooked this community, a sorority of mothers whose children had Down syndrome—a sorority to which I now belonged.

Some people have been taught that the Christian life makes no room for sadness, gives no permission to mourn, allows no time for lament. This kind of mental toughness might seem a practical approach for immediate survival, but unexpressed grief can become a bitterness that chokes us. When we dull our pain, we dull our joy. When we numb our lows, we numb our highs.

Jesus has a different perspective on grief. He never lacked emotion or expression. He “was a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). And in His impassioned Sermon on the Mount, He gives us this promise: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

When we grieve—not if—we will be comforted.

Not long after His sermon, Jesus experienced this for Himself. “He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and He became anguished and distressed. He told them, ‘My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me’” (Matthew 26:37).

Jesus wept from empathy, from disappointment, from pain. He mourned, and when He was finished mourning, He surrendered to the work of God—work that brought great freedom to all of us.

Since that fateful February morning, I’ve grieved with friends who have walked through fear and loss. Loss of love and marriage vows. Loss of sanity and peace. Loss of life, in the womb and out. And I’ve watched those same folks experience the death of their own will, and by His grace, receive Jesus’ comfort instead.

None of us wants to encounter such deep grief in our lifetimes. But the more we mourn our sin and need, pain and loss, the more we can trust and anticipate the gracious comfort Christ Jesus promises to bring.



Post Comments (111)

111 thoughts on "Blessed Are Those Who Mourn"

  1. Cee Gee says:

    Matthew Henry:
    Deep humility before God, hatred of all sin, with faith in Christ, a new heart and a new life, make repentance unto salvation. May the Lord bestow it on every one of us.

    Got questions:
    This sermon was a collection of truths designed to prepare His followers for His kingdom, which involved a lifestyle radically different from the world’s. …

    Those who learn to mourn over their own sin find the heart of God. And intimate fellowship with God is the very foundation of true happiness.

    Watching the sermon on or near the site where Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount gave me a wholly different view of this passage. It’s all about who, what, where we are in our faith walk with Jesus. Yes, He does comfort us when we experience earthly mourning- I am ever thankful for that!- but, as we have come to realize, it’s all about eternity and where we are in our walk. It’s so easy to lean towards the temporal and we need to lean more towards eternity, trusting our Sovereign God. Easier said than done and preaching to myself here!

    SEARCHING – So cool that you shared sermon notes from a few years ago! Thank you for the great comment! ❤

    LYNNE FROM ALABAMA – Continued prayers for you and all involved in the progression of Jack’s care – knowing that you are experiencing a type of earthly mourning that few will ever understand. I include LINDA IN NC and NANCY S in my prayers (though they are not here with us).

  2. Cheryl Blow says:

    So thankful for God’s comfort in our times of mourning. Then we can comfort others with the comfort God has given us.

  3. Searching says:

    Yes, the Lord comforts me when I mourn. When my heart is so broken that I physically feel the pain, He is with me, always with me. I am so thankful I can trust Him to walk with me at all times and especially when the pain is unimaginable.

    Gathered from several sources – got questions, enduring word, sermon series our pastor did several years ago:
    Jesus is directing attention to the mourning we feel when we realize we have done something terrible (sinned) rather than what we feel when something painful has happened to us. When our hearts are broken over our own sin… when we confess those sins to God, repent of them and cling to God’s guidance, wisdom and strength to walk away from those sins, rather than refusing to even acknowledge that what we are doing is sinful.

    I saw so much truth in a comment by COLLEEN (11/16/16, 12:25 pm): “what doesn’t come so easily is honesty in repentance” and “I’d rather hide than face God with the truth of my sin.”

    Additional scriptures that tie in:
    Psalm 32:5
    I acknowledged my sin to You,
    And my iniquity I have not hidden.
    I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,”
    And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah NKJV

    1 John 1:8-10
    8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. NKJV

    We learned (or were reminded of) yesterday that we need to recognize that on our own we are poor in spirit, worthless from a spiritual perspective and desperately need God, and today that we are to mourn our behavior, grieve over our sins and receive the comfort of repentance. A light bulb came on when I looked at the 2 verses together – that without studying ahead, I think I’ll end up seeing that the whole point of these beatitudes will be a roadmap of salvation and walking with the Lord. So needed.

    SHARON JERSEY GIRL – praying for Jonathan, and a return to Christ, that he will think back to his childhood and remember. Praying for your continued knee recovery.

    LYNNE FROM AL – praying for encouragement and wisdom in your caregiving. ❤️

    RHONDA J – praying for relief of pain and harmony at home. I try to remember to think about whatever the issue is – will I even remember it next month? Will the outcome of the conversation have any long term importance or consequences? If my answer is no, I try to take a deep breath and let it go. If it’s one of those “yes it really does matter” things, I try to lay it down at the time and pray for guidance to work it out later. Note that I said “try” …

    CEE GEE – great comment yesterday ❤️

  4. Donna Wolcott says:

    Kristine, thank you for your lovely description of an oak. A few years ago I attended an event to honor several “oaks of righteousness” that served the Christian community in our state. Each table had a piece of an old oak tree. In mourning our hearts can feel empty but the Lord has just made room for more joy to enter in. Lifting you all up today.

  5. Kristine Loughman says:

    Those who mourn will be called “oaks of righteousness”. I think about oak trees, how they sink their roots deep into the earth, sturdy and strong. But I also think about how they change to weather all the seasons. Sometimes they are bare and shivering, waiting for the new life of spring. Mourning is like their winter season when all looks bleak. Spring is coming but it may not feel like it.

  6. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Thankful that I know Jesus to be my Comforter (that’s how I am blessed as I grieve).

    RHONDA – praying your pressing in to Jesus and serving others changed the outcome of your day

  7. Jessica Schuurman says:

    It’s real. He is real.

  8. Nicole Christina says:

    My cousin and best friend died in a tragic accident when I was five years old. She was four at the time. Since then I’ve lost my great grandparents, both of my grandfathers, an uncle, and another cousin. I don’t believe that a five year old can understand what death is, never mind process the loss of a loved one. I’m sharing my story because reading this has made me realize that I have been mourning for almost twenty years now and I probably always will be. But I have to trust God and rest in the peace that only He can give me. I know now that I am not alone.

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