August 4, 2021
We appreciate your perseverance in prayer each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. Our prayers are often mingled with heavy hearts and many tears, but in our turning to God, He supplies what we need most.
This is what we learn from the second beatitude in Matthew five. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
We don’t normally link happiness with mourning. John Stott says, “One might almost translate this second beatitude ‘Happy are the unhappy’ in order to draw attention to the startling paradox it contains.”
What is the meaning of this mourning? What does the Lord expect of His people? The word in the Greek is πενθέω (pentheō) meaning to grieve, to lament, to mourn. Vincent Word Studies, says it is grief too deep for concealment.
We can learn a lot from our Savior who was called the man of sorrows by Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 53:3).
In the touching scene in John eleven, Jesus wept with his friends, Mary and Martha, at the grave of their brother, Lazarus. Although it seems a little late from our perspective for Him to wait to join them until four days after Lazarus’ death, our Lord is never late. He had waited because He wanted to draw their hearts closer to Him.
John 11:35, “Jesus wept,” may be the shortest verse in our Bible, but it is possibly the deepest verse as well. What a demonstration of tenderness and compassion! What a beautiful display of the heart of our God! He wept with those who were weeping. He felt their pain and shared in their grief.
So often in our busy lives, we miss the opportunity to share with others in their suffering. Are we too occupied with personal things that we fail to see the needs of others?
Have we filled our schedules so full that there is no time to draw alongside a broken-hearted brother or sister? Are we insensitive to the troubles of others because of a lack of true concern?
There is a true blessedness in simply sharing with others who mourn.
In Luke nineteen Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, “And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace” (Luke 19:41-42).
And similarly, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Luke 13:34). It was a true lament.
He wept over their sinful hearts. He wept because of their great unbelief. He wept because of their missed opportunity. He wept because He saw their tragic end.
This is a grief that each of us should feel for perishing sinners around us. Whether it is for family, friends, neighbors, fellow workers, or strangers, we carry a sorrow that motivates us to reach them with the love of God.
The Hebrew writer reminds us that Jesus wept in anticipation of the cross. “In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” (Hebrews 5:7).
While this passage may not be limited to one occasion, it definitely occurred in the garden of Gethsemane as the Lord Jesus considered the sufferings that He was about to experience and poured out His heart to His Father.
He described it as a cup, a cup full of the punishment of God against our sin. He drank the cup fully and completely. It was the will of God for Him to do so, and while it was the most difficult thing He ever did, He was filled with joy. “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:3).
What is God’s will for your life? Is it causing you a lot of grief and mourning? The blessedness is knowing you are in the center of His will and that He will be with you all the way.
The promise of comfort comes to the one who mourns, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” This is a comfort that is both present and future.
The Lord Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as the comforter, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17). The Greek word for Helper is παράκλητος (paraklētos), meaning advocate or comforter.
The wonderful reality for every believer is that when we mourn with godly sorrow, His Spirit who is within us will bring us comfort. He is our constant companion throughout our pilgrim pathway. What a great blessing!
The beautiful prospect of every believer is that we are destined for eternal comfort. Our storyline ends with tears being forever removed. The apostle John says, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4). The cause of grief will be eradicated and we will bask in the fullness of His presence.
May God encourage us on our homeward journey.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel