Read His Words Before Ours!
All of us have experienced mourning.
We know grief and sorrow as we suffer loss of family members, friends, jobs, hopes, or dreams.
There have been times in my life when the mourning was so deep all I could do was cry until there were no more tears. Weeping, by no means removes our grief, but at least for me, it allows a necessary purging of bottled up emotion so I can move on and function. While I HATE to cry, I have learned to allow the tears instead of holding back.
As Christ followers, there is another type of grief with which we must grapple. This grief is born of the realization and understanding of the depth of our sin and depravity.
In Matthew 5:4, Jesus declares, “Blessed are those who mourn.”
The Greek word used for mourn is “pentheo,” which means to “wail or passionately lament, a grief so all-encompassing it cannot be hidden.” The same word is used in Mark 16:10 to describe the emotions of Jesus’ followers after His crucifixion, a soul-deep sorrow.
2 Corinthians 7:10 tells us “godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation.” Thus, it is a necessary mourning, required for us to reach a place of complete repentance before God.
Have you invited God to search your heart for hidden sin, and then experienced “godly grief” over what He’s brought to light?
A few days prior to receiving this assignment, God grabbed hold of my heart and took me through a time of deep mourning over my sin. Little did I know He would use that experience so quickly! Isn’t it amazing how God works?!
I wasn’t expecting this deep mourning when I sat down with my Bible and journal that day. However, given the extra time we all had in April due to Covid-19, I was making unhurried quiet times a priority. So on this day, I had finally come to a place of quietness and stillness that enabled a humbling before our Father. I asked Him openly and honestly to expose my sin to His light.
It began with this quote from Paul David Tripp: “Whatever commands the love of your heart also shapes the direction of your life.” These words triggered something deep within, and God faithfully answered my prayer to expose my sin
He clearly revealed how many other things and people were commanding the “love of my heart” in His place. My priorities and focus were all wrong. Jesus wants and needs to be first in our hearts, our first love.
The more I journaled and confessed, the more He exposed, until I sat there, completely open, all those hidden sins and desires laid bare before my King. And I cried . . . A LOT!
But as I sat there completely broken, something amazing happened.
I began to hear and see God much more clearly.
I began, once again, to feel the closeness we’d been missing.
I began to experience His forgiveness and love washing my entire soul.
God hates sin, and once it is removed, He can and will fully invade our entire being.
We desperately want to avoid pain. It’s natural. However, as Jesus-followers, we are called to live differently and do things the world doesn’t understand, like asking God to expose ALL our sin. When we begin to see our sin as Jesus does and realize the pain we have caused Him, it does hurt.
But the pain is followed by the blessing of His comfort, one so deep and unexplainable we know it comes from God alone.
The Greek word for blessed in Matthew 5:4 is “makarios,” which means: “supremely blest, fortunate, well off. The highest good.” The same word is used in Revelation 19:9, which proclaims, “Blessed are those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb.”
Do you see the connection? The blessing accompanying mourning is the same type of blessing we will experience in eternity with Jesus!
Next, He promises comfort in our mourning. The Greek word for comfort is “parakaleo,” meaning “call to one’s side.” Consider how special the comfort of a true friend is in times of sorrow. They know us well, and therefore discern exactly what to say and do. The comfort in this passage is better, deeper, and sweeter, because Jesus is the One calling us to His side!
And finally, on the other side of mourning are abundant blessings. Revelation 21:4 reminds us, “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more.”
Our vision is clouded by the sin we allow to persist by not fully addressing it, or trying to excuse it. But if we are faithful to humble ourselves (I mean true, honest to goodness, on-our-knees-humbling ourselves) before God, then He is faithful to wipe away our tears and forgive our sin (1 John 1:9).
He will bless and comfort us
by filling us with more of Himself.
He will set our feet back on the path of righteousness,
giving us open eyes and hearts
to pursue new and fresh insight, understanding, and growth.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!