God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. (NLT)
We might think of this blessing when hearing of the death of someone. We claim the promise that God brings comfort to the bereaved. And of course he can and he does. But this text isn’t about that sort of mourning and that sort of comfort.
In context, Jesus is referring to our spiritual condition. He has promised to bless those who recognise their spiritual bankruptcy and will promise to bless those who recognise their lowly spiritual state. Now he promises to comfort those who recognise just how lost they are. Not only do we admit our spiritual brokenness, we grieve over it.
There are no shortcuts to the blessings of pardon and peace. The pathway to them passes through sorrow and mourning. If we don’t take our shortcomings seriously it shows we don’t take God’s holiness seriously.
This doesn’t mean we are to walk around all day with gloomy faces. We don’t mourn our sin in order to wallow in it. We mourn our sin and so come to grips with the amazing grace offered to us by Jesus. We grieve so as to be freed of that grief. We admit our lostness in order that we may be found.
In short, comfort only comes to the uncomfortable.
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