Happy are those who are Sad

Pastor Bill Woody
The Sermon on the Mount  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Happy are those who are Sad
Text: Matthew 5:4 (KJV 1900)
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
* In Psalm 55 David writes of the pain he experienced from the disappointments and sorrows of life:
"Oh, that I had wings like a dove! For then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness....
I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest" (vv. 6-8).
* He was echoing a thought most of us have had at one time or another: If only I could escape from my problems and find rest!
* We all desire to be freed from the anguish of this life, and yearn for comfort in the face of pain and disappointment.
* But we find that comfort seems almost impossible to find in this life.
* Because of this, Matthew 5:4 seems to be a paradox:
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
* One of the most astounding truths about our generation is the belief that happiness and freedom from pain are our inalienable rights as American Christians.
* We believe that a man who manages his life well has the right to live above pain and enjoy happiness.
* And yet, deep down inside, we know that that pain will never completely goes away in this life.
* As humans, we have learned that pain is a part of life.
* We sometimes think that a life without pain and sorrow would result in happiness, but Jesus taught that the absence of sorrow does not guarantee happiness.
* Dr. Joseph Fabry has said that the focus of a man’s life is the pursuit of meaning, not the pursuit of happiness.
* If we expect everything in life to be pleasurable, we will ultimately end up with a life full of frustration because sorrow and pain are a part of the human condition.
* In recent years we have seen some preachers lie Joel Olsteen offer a “positive mental attitude” philosophy of life, ignoring the examples in Scripture that teach us that hurt must sometimes happen in life.
* The Bible offers a more realistic appraisal of life in the human realm.
- Abraham cried when his wife Sarah died
- David mourned over the death of his son Absalom
- Jeremiah, the “weeping prophet,” preached his message of judgment with tears
- A woman came to Jesus and washed His feet with her tears.
- Jesus Himself wept at the death of His friend Lazarus.
- Jesus prayed in anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane
- Jesus watched Peter weep bitterly when he denied Jesus three times
- Jesus comforted the weeping Mary Magdalene outside the tomb on resurrection morning
* Where did we ever get the idea that there is something foreign about sorrow, pain, and tears in this life?
* Why would we ever think that tears were a sign of weakness, or that they demonstrate a lack of faith in God?
* Why would we think that because we cry tears of sorrow at times, that we cannot find happiness?
* Jesus said:
Psalm 126:4–6 (KJV 1900)
5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
* That’s not the message that the Bible portrays to us about life.
* Somewhere our society has gotten the idea that the absence of sorrow equals happiness.
* Jesus taught that this is not true. Jesus taught that the sorrowful, will find true happiness.
* The teaching of Jesus in Matthew 5:4 seems to be contrary to human experience.
* Our society is pleasure mad and has an entertainment-park mentality.
* People spend much of their money, time, and energy in an attempt to be entertained.
* They want to enjoy life and put sorrow and pain as far away as possible.
* But Jesus said, in Luke 6:25:
"Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall mourn and weep"
* Jesus condemned the superficial laughter of the world and offered blessing and comfort to those who mourn.
Happiness Is Discovered When We Sorrow for Our Own Sin
* In 2 Corinthians 7:10, we read,
“For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
* When was the last time you shed tears over the sin in your life?
* Generally in our culture, we simply don’t deal with sin.
* The famed psychologist Carl Menninger, who studied the effects of sin on the life of people wrote a book called Whatever Happened to Sin?
* In this book he noted that when an individual fails to deal with the sin in his life, he never takes a step toward getting better and finding mental healing.
* He said we call ourselves victims, always blaming someone else for our faults.
* A thief doesn’t own up to his sin; he blames it on his deprived childhood
* A murderer doesn’t admit his sin; he blames it on abuse.
* But when a man faces up to the things in his life that he knows violate the holiness of God, he mourns over his own sin.
* Have you ever come to God so broken-hearted over your own sin that you wept tears of sorrow?
* The Bible says that doing so is a cleansing step toward holiness and leads to true happiness in life.
* In our text Jesus said: “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
* The man who cannot mourn over his own sin can never know the comfort and forgiveness of God.
* When we come to God, acknowledging what we have sinned, and weeping, realizing that it was our sin that helped nail Jesus to the cross, God begins the comforting process in our lives.
* Our hurt leads to the blessing of God’s comfort.
* This is what Jesus was teaching when he said: “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
* Jesus was not speaking of the ordinary kinds of sorrow we find in the world like how we feel when a child pouts when he doesn’t get his way, or the sorrow we feel finances are in the tank.
* When Jesus said “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Jesus was speaking of a sorrow of hear that is brought on by the Holy Spirit- the Bible calls this A Godly sorrow:
The Godly sorrow that we find in the Bible is sorrow over our own sin.
* Second Corinthians 7:10 tells us:
"godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of; but the sorrow of the world worketh death."
* A person can weep bitterly because of loneliness, discouragement, earnest love, or unfulfilled lust, but that kind of sorrow will never bring about eternal life.
* The only kind of mourning or sorrow that results in salvation is godly sorrow over our sin- because it leads to repentance, and then repentance leads to forgiveness, and forgiveness leads to the Joy and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
* According to Jesus, this is true happiness. Godly sorrow leads to happiness.
* In Matthew 5:4 Jesus wasn't saying that the lonely or discouraged are happy, but that those who are distressed and mournful about their sin will be happy.
Remember true happiness begins with poverty of spirit
* As I preached to you last sunday, the Beatitudes begin with, "Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:3).
* A person who is poor in spirit knows he is spiritually bankrupt.
* He, like the apostle Paul, knows that in his flesh there is no good thing (Rom. 7:18).
* When you are convinced intellectually that you are spiritually bankrupt you will respond emotionally by mourning.
* Those that are poor in spirit recognize that spiritually they are nothing but cowering beggars with no capacity to help themselves (Matt. 5:3).
* A person cannot enter Christ's kingdom apart from an overwhelming sense of spiritual poverty, and he never loses that perspective as a child of God.
* George MacDonald referred to this truth in his exposition on the Sermon on the Mount:
"The poor, the beggars in spirit, the humble men of heart, the unambitious, the unselfish; those who never despise men, and never seek their praises; the lowly, who see nothing to admire in themselves, therefore cannot seek to be admired of others; the men who give themselves away--these are the freemen of the kingdom, these are the citizens of the new Jerusalem…
"When a man says, I am low and worthless, then the gate of the kingdom begins to open to him, for there enter the true, and this man has begun to know the truth concerning himself"
(Life Essential: The Hope of the Gospel [Wheaton, Ill.: Harold Shaw Pub., 1974], pp. 43-44).
* Only the beggar in spirit can say with Isaiah, "Woe is me! For I am undone" (Isa. 6:5).
* Only a destitute person will say like the apostle Peter, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord" (Luke 5:8).
* After David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and had her husband killed, David saw how spiritually poor he was.
* He wrote, "In sin did my mother conceive me" (Ps. 51:5).
* David mourned deeply over his own sin--his soul was wrenched and contorted to the very depths of his being!
Godly sorrow involves deep internal agony.
* There are 9 words in the Greek language that describe different kinds of Greif- this tells you a lot about man’s condition on this earth- the history of man has always been filled with grief and sadness.
* The Greek word translated "mourn" in our test this morning in Matthew 5:4 (pentheo) is the strongest of all the Greek words used in the New Testament to express grief.
* It often refers to mourning for the dead--the passionate lament expressed for a lost loved one.
* Pentheo conveys the idea of deep inner agony-- not just external grief.
* David expressed that kind of pain in Psalm 32, when he said in anguish of soul:
"When I kept silence [about my sin], my bones became old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer" (v. 4)
* In Psalm 51 David was agonizing over his sin with Bathsheba when he wrote:
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (vv. 1-3).
* David was devastated by the effects of sin on his relationship with God.
* Again David wrote:
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit" (vv. 10-12).
* When David mourned over his sin and confessed it to God he was cleansed.
* Therefore he could later say in Psalms 32:
"Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered"
* The reason those who mourn over sin are happy is that their sins are forgiven.
* According to Jesus godly sorrow results in forgiveness of our sin. Forgiveness of our sin, brings freedom and joy – this all translates to true happiness!
* Everyone else in the world lives without relief from the guilt of sin.
* David experienced tears of loneliness, rejection, discouragement, defeat-- sorrow over his guilt in sinning with Bathsheba.
* But nothing broke David’s heart as much as his own sin did.
* I believe that this is why the Bible says that “David was a man after God’s own heart.”
* Bottled up sin ruins a life, but sorrowful confession of our sin results in the freedom and joy of forgiveness.
* The comfort mentioned in Matthew 5:4 doesn't come from your sorrow but from God's response to your sorrow.
* Out text this morning says:
Matthew 5:4 (KJV 1900)
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
* Is your heart happy this morning? If not, it may be that your heart may be weighed down by sin.
* When I was a child, I used to hear people sing a song about this unhappy condition. The words went like this:
How Long has it Been
How long has it been since you talked with the Lord And told him your heart's hidden secrets
How long since you prayed how long since you stayed On your knees till the light shone through
How long has it been since your mind felt at ease How long since your heart knew no burden
Can you call him your friend how long has it been since you knew that he cared for you How long has it been since you knelt by your bed and prayed to the Lord up in heaven
How long since you knew that he’d answer you And would keep you the long night through
How long has it been since you woke with the dawn and felt this day is worth living
Can you call him your friend how long has it been since you knew that he cared for you
* In our text this morning, Jesus taught that the way to find happiness in this life is to be sorrowful over our sin.
* If the Holy Spirit has reminded you of some sin this morning that you need to confess to the Lord, come to this alter and pour you heart out before the Lord and find true Happiness.
* If you are here this morning and you have not yet believed called on Jesus to receive forgiveness of sin, you will never know the comfort of God in your soul.
* This, according to Jesus, is the only way you will ever experience true happiness in this life. Will you come to Jesus this morning?
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