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Beatitude Series #4: Blessed Mourners

Those who mourn and grieve over their sins and put their trust in Christ discover the blessing and joy of salvation now and will continues to rejoice throughout eternity. That is what Christ does for Christians. Isaiah prophesied of Christ's ministry in Isaiah. 61:1-3 and spoke of the joy He would bring to heavy, grieving hearts. The beginning of Jesus' public ministry is recorded in Luke 4:16-21. There He explains to the people that He is the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy.

On the other hand, those who have no conviction of sin; those who never weep nor mourn over their sins; but approach life lightheartedly as though life were simply a bowl of cherries or with the attitude "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" will one day weep and mourn; but it will be too late in hell where there will be eternal weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42

No Need for Old Man Gloom
Jesus' beatitude concerning mourning, found in Matthew 5:4 and in Luke 6:21 and 25, does not mean that Christians are to go through life with a doom and gloom attitude and make ourselves and everyone we meet miserable. Rather, we are to live a normal life with its joys and sorrows; but always with a heaviness and sorrow and burden for the lost and for a sin-cursed world. The Old Testament prophets did not just present cold, academic facts about the future. Their messages were described as burdens. Jeremiah was known as the
"weeping prophet". In Romans 9-10 Paul speaks of the heavy burden he carried for the salvation of his kinsmen who rejected Christ.

Jesus, a Man of Sorrows
Isaiah prophesied in Isaiah 53:3 that Jesus would be " a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." So should we, as followers of Christ. The Bible does not say that Jesus ever laughed. I think He probably did, but it doesn't say so; but it does say He wept. As Jesus wept over those who rejected Him, so we should weep as we pray for those who continue to reject Christ.

A time to Laugh and A Time to Weep
King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 explains that there is a time to laugh and a time to weep. There is a time to be light-hearted and there is a time to be heavy-hearted. We can laugh and have fun with others; but underneath the laughing exterior is a grieving and weeping heart for Christ-rejecters. Church socials is a time for fun and laughter; but church worship services is a time to be sober-minded and thoughtful. Sober-mindedness is a quality of spiritual maturity. Titus 2:1-6, 2:11-14 I Timothy 3:1-11. The preacher of God's Word should not be stuffy and pompous; but temperate, dignified and sensible.

There are three kinds of mourning.

First, there is the natural mourning that everyone: both saved and unsaved experience. We all grieve over shattered hopes, losses and death. In Romans 8:22-23 Paul talks of this general mourning that the whole world experiences. Sorrow at death is natural. But we who know Christ as Saviour and Lord do not grieve as the lost grieve with hopelessness and despair. I Thessalonians 4:13

Then there is a sinful mourning. This is the mourning and utter hopelessness of those who refuse to be comforted by God's Word. Sinful mourning also includes the hypocritical mourning of those who put on an outward show of mourning, but there is no mourning in the heart. In Joel 2:12-13 we are exhorted to rend our hearts and not our garments to show genuine mourning. We also sin against God when we mourn and despair when God is chastening us for sin. Rather, we ought to rejoice that God loves us enough as His children to chasten us when we need it. Hebrews 12:11-12.

Finally, there is godly mourning. II Corinthians 6:10 This springs from true conviction of sin and brings God's blessing of forgiveness, joy and peace. Any other kind of mourning is useless if there is no brokenness or conviction of sin. Godly mourning is not simply acknowledging the fact that we are sinners. It involves weeping and sorrow for our sins. With the Laodicean Church described in Revelation 3 there was no mourning for sin and therefore, no blessing from God.

Godly mourning a life style
Godly mourning over sin does not just take place at the time of conversion; it becomes part of our life style as Christians. As long as we are in any way unlike Jesus, it should be cause for mourning and it should continue throughout our lives until at last we are perfected in the presence of Christ.

Godly mourning also includes mourning for the lost. In Psalm 126:6 we are promised that if we will take the Gospel to the lost with a heart that weeps for their conversion, we will have the joy of leading people to Christ.

The Christian life a paradox.
We are sorrowing, yet always rejoicing. II Corinthians 6:10 We are always groaning over our sins, yet rejoicing in victory. Romans 7:18, 25 We mourn over world conditions, yet rejoice in Christ's resurrection and our own coming resurrection. I Corinthians 15. We understand with the Psalmist in Psalm 30:5 that "weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

No more tears and sorrow
Praise God that the day is coming for us as Christians when "God shall wipe away all tears and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away." Revelation 21:4

Cheer up, saint of God! The night of sin is almost over! The Day of the Lord is at hand!

March 11, 2006 Posted by | Beatitudes Series | Comments Off on Beatitude Series #4: Blessed Mourners