“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4.
In Matthew 5:4, Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” This is a line right in the middle of the beatitudes portion of His famous sermon on the mount. Each beatitude starts with a blessing. Jesus is giving us ways to live so that we can live a happy and blessed life. Blessed are those that mourn: In essence, Jesus is saying, “ happy are those who are sad.” That has probably caused some confusion over the millennia.
Given the human condition, Jesus’ promise to comfort those who mourn could not be more counterintuitive or counter-cultural. For the world, grieving sin is regressive and constricting. But for the Christian, it is the pathway to joy.
The world does not reward the kind of living Jesus is talking about, but God does. The world says are you blessed when all your dreams come true. You are blessed when everything goes your way. Jesus said happy are the sad and blessed are the broken-hearted.
Jesus was “…despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.” (Isaiah 53:3) He understood the destructive nature of sin and evil. Yet it was the joy that was set before Him that gave Him the strength to endure the cross. Jesus knew that His suffering would both purchase our salvation. This gave Him joy and purpose.
If we believe that God’s grace and sovereignty are greater than any loss or disappointment, we too can experience joy in the midst of sorrow. We may not understand why God allows tragedy to strike.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7 says: “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.”
These are powerful verses. Verse 4 tells us that every pain in life can find meaning when we comfort others. We are called to give out what we have been given. In other words, we should give out of the love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, blessings, finances, and comfort we have already been given. Christ’s comfort: it’s always greater than our trouble. It is more than our suffering.
It sounds difficult, but the unexpected good of brokenness is that it revives the life of Christ in each one of us. We become less and He becomes more. The more we become like Him, the more we become the people God created us to be.
- Describe a time when your life was hit with an unexpected storm. How well did you endure it? What did you do when you felt like giving up? Did you experience God’s comfort during that period?
- What does “comfort” mean to you? What comfort do you need? What comfort have you received? What can you do to pass on the comfort of God to others?