Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

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Jesus’ second blessing he gives it for those who mourn, and he promises that they will be comforted. What does that mean for us today? This sermon will focus on what Jesus means He says that those who mourn will be comforted, and it will challenge listeners to have a different understanding of this verse.



Mourning is a complicated thing. We can mourn a lot of different things. We can mourn a loved one, we can mourn a relationship, we can mourn because we lost something or something didn’t work out, we can mourn over something bad we did. That really is just the tip of the iceberg. Mourning is a complicated thing. However, the feelings we experience with mourning are a constant. Along with mourning comes sorrow, frustration, sometimes anger, disappointment, regret, remorse, depression, and a few others. Mourning is something we all experience in our lifetime over many different things.
There was a time like that for me over something I had done. When I was in elementary school I was in the band. Specifically I played trumpet and I was really excited about playing it. I spent everyday after school playing it so that I could get better and better. One day when I opened up my case I saw this little container with these small sponges in a liquid. I didn’t know what they were so I grabbed the container out and read that they were supposed to clean the inside of the trumpet. You place it in one end of the trumpet and then you were supposed to push it through with your breath like you were playing it. Then it was supposed to pop out the other side so I thought I would try it. I stuck one of the sponges in and began the process but for some reason the sponge was not coming out. I began to panic a little bit, because I really needed to get it out. Being a 5th grader at the time I thought long and hard and the obvious answer was to shove more of those sponges in because they would push each other out right? So one by one I put more and more sponges into the trumpet until I had used almost all of the sponges in the container and there was quite a few sponges in those things. However, my brilliant idea did not work. Now I had a crazy amount of sponges stuck in my trumpet. My panic began to rise and I thought of all the trouble I would get it if my parents found out. I mean the trumpet was able to play because of all the sponges so my parents would know something was wrong, but I needed help getting them out because I didn’t know what to do. Well I went to my mom and I told her that for some reason my trumpet wasn’t working. It wouldn’t make any sound. Confused she asked me a reasonable question. Why? To which my response was I have no idea it just stopped working. I said this as if the trumpet had batteries and they needed to be changed out. My mom told me she would take a look at it and I went back to my room. As I sat in my room and thought about the ridiculous lie I had just come up with I began have these feelings of sorrow. Not because I had messed up my trumpet, but because I had lied to my mom. I began to feel this overwhelming remorse for what I had done because I knew it was wrong. I began to mourn over what I had done. My heart was broken and I felt this extreme sorrow. Before my mom could come back to me and tell me what I did, because there was no way she wasn’t going to find out, I went to her and began to cry. I confessed what I had done and begged her to forgive me to which she did.
It’s maybe not a typical situation where we would think someone would mourn, but my heart was broken and the sorrow I felt was unbearable. I mourned my sin. The loss of trust my mother would have for me. The separation I was causing between God and myself with that sin. I lied which is sin and I mourned over it.
And you know Jesus talks about mourning in the scripture. Actually the picture of mourning is all over the bible. Many people mourned over different things all throughout the scriptures. We have been going through this series #Blessed going through the beatitudes of Jesus famous sermon on the mount and in this sermon Jesus talks about mourning and those who mourn. So lets go to Matthew 5:3.


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Even without diving into the meaning of this verse it is really encouraging. Being comforted during a time of mourning is something I think every single person longs for. We were created to be together and interact with one another and that includes times of mourning. Look at the story of Job. Job went through all kinds of mourning in his life and who was there for Him. His friends. He had friends that came to him and just sat with him and mourned with him. Being comforted in the midst of mourning is something that helps us get through the mourning process. Helps us power through the sorrow.
There is more to this verse however, than its face value. So lets go and look at the phrases of this verse. The first being “Blessed are those who mourn.” Last week we talked about what Blessed meant, but as a reminder it means to be approved, to have joy in God’s approval, it can also mean happy. So lets look at that word mourn. That word mourning here can include grief caused by personal sin, loss, social evil, or oppression. The Greek word here for mourn is the strongest word for mourning in the Greek. Listen the Greeks were a extremely expressive people full of emotion. To say that this is the strongest word for mourn in the Greek is saying something. This is a powerful mourning. A mourning that takes such a hold that it can’t be hidden. Have you ever felt something like that? A type of sorrow that just seems to grip your soul? That is the kind of mourning that is being talked about here in this passage.
There is an Arab proverb out there that says “All sunshine makes a desert.” It means this. The land on which the sun always shines will son become a place where no fruit will grow. There are certain things that only rain can produce. Like that only certain experiences can come out of sorrow or mourning. That’s not saying that you should look forward to mourning because it gives you more experience, its saying that sorrow can do two things. It can show us the essential kindness of others and it can show us the comfort and compassion of God like nothing else can. We don’t look to have the mourning and sorrow that grips our soul, but when we do we have these eye opening experiences with those around us. Maybe we gain more appreciation for those around us or we gain more appreciation for God and what He has done for us. A man named Robert Browning Hamilton wrote a poem called ‘Along the Road’ and it says this: I walked a mile with Pleasure, She chattered all the way, but left me none the wiser, for all she had to say. I walked a mile with Sorrow, and ne’er a word said she, but, oh, the things I learned from her when Sorrow walked with me! When we mourn we learn more about the comfort of God in a way that maybe we haven’t experienced before or haven’t noticed before. When we are filled with this sorrow for whatever in life personal loss, evil, oppression God is there to give comfort and walk us through that time in our life where it doesn’t seem like we are going to get through.
There is a second thing that can be drawn from this passage as well. There is a mourning of personal loss, and of evil, and oppression, but there is also a mourning for our own sin and our own unworthiness. Jesus constant message throughout His ministry was for us to repent of the things we have done and turn to Him. As William Barclay puts it “We cannot repent unless we are truly sorry for our sins.” The thing that really changes a person is when we suddenly come up against something that opens up our eyes to what sin really is and the consequences of it. You a little boy or girl can go their own way and they may never think of the effects and consequences of what they are doing, but then something happens one day and they see that look in their mother and fathers eye and they see sin for what it really is and how it effects everything. That is what Jesus did on the cross. We see the cross and see what sin has done and what it can do. Our sin took a perfect person and nailed them to a cross. The cross is a way to open our eyes to the sin in our life and the horrors it can bring and will bring. And when we see the horror of our sin what else can we feel but intense sorrow for our sin. Read like this “Blessed are those who are intensely sorry for their sin, those who are heartbroken for what their sin has done to God and to Jesus Christ, those who see the cross and who are appalled by the havoc that is brought by sin.”
Which brings us to the second part of the verse. “For they will be comforted.” I believe that this passage is saying both of those types of mourning mentioned before and both ways being comforted can bring joy back into our lives. When we are intensely sorry for our sins and we mourn over the affects of it and we repent we receive that forgiveness and that forgiveness brings us joy! I don’t know about you, but when I am forgiven by someone I am close with after I have hurt them it gives me joy to know that I am forgiven. It is the same way with Christ. He forgives us and wipes our slate clean and that should bring us joy. That is what that comfort is.
It brings to us when we are mourning something happening in our life because in those moments we really just need someone to be there through it all. Someone to wrap their arms around us tell us that everything is going to be OK. When we get that comfort it lifts our spirits. It can give us joy back in our life when we are truly comforted. That is what God does for us. He just sits with us when we need it, he wraps his arms around us when we need it, whatever it is we need God is there to comfort us in those times of sorrow and mourning. It’s nice to know that there will at least be one person always there for us no matter what we go through in life.


I think we can really read this verse more like this “O the bliss of those whose hearts are broken and whose hearts are broken for their own sin, because out of their sorrow they will find the joy of God.” Psalm 51:17
Psalm 51:17 NIV
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.
God will never leave or forsake us because we are going through a period of mourning in our life. Nor will he forsake us or leave us when we are mourning over our sin. In both instances God will be there to comfort us and if we need it give us forgiveness. Going through mourning isn’t something we all look forward too. In fact I know we all wish we never had to do that. But let me give you this encouragement. While here on earth we are going to mourn over things that happen and over our sin, but God will be there to guide us and comfort us. However, we will not always have to mourn. Because there is going to be a day where the things that we mourn will be no more and there will be nothing but joy before our father. There will be nothing but blessedness and joy before the father one day. So here on earth we are going to have trouble as the scriptures put it. But fear not because god has overcome the world. “ O the bliss of those whose hearts are broken and whose hearts are broken for their own sin, because out of their sorrow they will find the joy of God”
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