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Monday, February 4, 2019

Matthew 5:4

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

This is the second beatitude that Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, and possibly one of the most enigmatic. About what are we mourning? In what way are those who mourn blessed?

Jesus comes alongside those who mourn, with warmth and tender love, and He knows how and where we hurt. He feels our pain, no matter what causes the mourning. Some mourn over losing someone because of death or betrayal. Others mourn over financial or physical losses. Still others mourn over their own terrible mistakes. And then there is the unique mourning over the terrible mistakes of one's child or spouse or friend. In any and all sources of grief that afflict us, Jesus promises His comfort.

"It is better to go into the house of mourning than to go into the house of feasting… Sorrow is better than laughter, for by a sad countenance the heart is made glad" (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4).

Suffering is never pleasant, but it is an extraordinary teacher. All those who mourn can be blessed by God in that mourning. I saw this dynamic at work at the memorial service for my father. I looked over the many people his life touched, and heard testimonies of his faith, his service, his smile, and his sacrifice. As they spoke, through tears and laughter "our hearts were made glad…in the house of mourning."

Tom Day



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