Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
Blessed mourning naturally follows being poor in spirit. If I deny myself and am set free by God’s grace from the spiritual and physical lusts of the world, it follows that I will grieve, not only for my sins but the sins of the world.
Look around our world today. Does any of it bother you? What is your response? We get angry, we take sides, we lash out, or we surrender, conform, avoid, get involved – any combination of a hundred reactions. But do we weep? Is there a part of us that is moved to mournful tears? Tears like those damping Jesus’ own eyes when He looked over Jerusalem and saw people living for themselves, without consideration of God, like sheep without a shepherd.
If we are not moved to compassionate tears, to blessed mourning, over the state of our lives before our Holy, Loving God, it is probable that the things of the world still have a stronghold in our heart and mind. When we realize the carnality inside of us that still resides in us despite our confession of Christ, we should fall before the Lord in repentance. Paul wrote, “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation and brings no regret, but worldly grief produces death…” 2 Corinthians 7 (see v. 9-11).
This is the difference between godly, blessed mourning, and just being a sorrowful, joyless, sourpuss – for godly grief leads to repentance and no regret, that is, the person who is emptied of self and mourning for the sins of man, will find comfort, even joy. Comfort and joy fill the heart with assurance that Christ has come, He hears, He sees, nothing escapes His notice, and He is working! The blessed truth that you and I can be saved testifies to the fact that anyone can be saved by His grace-giving victory.
It is mourning which leads to boundless joy, spiritual elation, and laughter. Not out of ignorant callousness, just the opposite, out of peace with Christ. St. John Climatus in the 7th century wrote, “I am amazed at how that which is called mourning and grief should contain joy and gladness within it, like honey in the comb.”
And this is the comfort of those who mourn, God will meet them there, His presence, and all that amazing truth entails, is like honey in the comb.