If we are humble and appreciate that all of our gifts and blessings come from God, we grow in love and gratitude for Jesus Christ our Savior. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matt. 5:4) This also produces mourning. Mourning is grieving and regret over our own sins and the sins of this world and the devastating consequences for those who have not come to faith in Jesus. It is also godly sorrow when we see the gap between the fullness the Lord promised in His Word, and what we are experiencing. Feeling the pain of this godly desperation and holy discontent causes us to seek God for all that He wants to give. Mourning and our desire for God is His gift to us.
As Christ followers, the brokenness of this world extends deep into our souls. The people Jesus calls “blessed” deeply mourn both their personal sins and those of the world. It is what prompted Jeremiah to cry out over the apostasy of Israel, and the tax collector to say, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Such mourning is necessary for repentance and eternal life in the presence of the “God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3).
When Isaiah prophesied about the Messiah, he was clear that Christ would comfort those who mourn: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to prisoners; To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn” (Is. 61:1-2). And as is true with all the Lord blesses us with, we are to share that comfort with others: The Lord “comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Cor. 1:4).
Mourning over our sins and the sin of the world is called a blessing, because mourning our fallen nature creates in us a desire to have the Lord create in us a clean heart so that we do what is right! “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin…Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me…Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.” (Ps. 51:1-2, 10, 12)
Jesus reminds His disciples that they cannot seek happiness the way the world does. True joy is not found in selfish ambition, excuses, or self-justification. An enviable state of blessedness comes to those who mourn over their own sin. When we agree with God about how bad our sin is, repent of it, and seek His power to walk away from it, Jesus promises comfort from the Holy Spirit. The kind of “mourning” that leads to repentance is truly blessed (2 Cor. 7:10). Repentance results in forgiveness and cleansing from God (Ps. 30:5).
When we have trusted in Jesus ransom us from our sin, we no longer stand condemned (Rom. 8:1). Rather than wallow in guilt and shame, we realize that we stand justified before God (2 Cor. 5:21; Gal. 3:24). Believers who have never been pained by their spiritual lack will miss out on much of what God desires for them. Refuse to be comforted by anything less than God’s highest. Those who learn to mourn over their own sin find the heart of God. And intimate fellowship with God is the very foundation of true happiness, and that is truly comforting! “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” (James 4:8)