Today's Word of Encouragement
Monday, May 25, 2020
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matthew 5:4).
Each principle in the Sermon on the Mount is not as an independent entity, but as part of a whole - like links in a chain. The first link is to recognize not just that we are destitute in spirit, but I am destitute in spirit. The Holy Spirit opens my eyes to it, and I must acknowledge and accept it as God’s truth.
The second link in this spiritual chain is to respond to the truth. I can do this in one of two ways: 1) ignore it, excuse it, rationalize it, or simply reject it, or 2) grieve over it.
Using the word ‘blessed’ or ‘happy’, Jesus presents a second paradox by saying the spiritual well-being of a person results from ‘mourning’. To ‘mourn’ means to grieve, to cry out loud, to wail and weep, to be cut to the heart. You see this where men, women, and children are killed by war or natural disasters. People gather in emotional agony, bitter anguish, uncontrollable sorrow. Jesus said the true disciple experiences the same upon realizing his/her own spiritual depravity. Paul wrote:
I rejoice, not because you were grieved, but because you were grieved into repenting. For you felt a godly grief, so that you suffered no loss through us. For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).
Jesus came preaching, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 4:17). Repentance means to change your mind about sin and to turn away from it. We will not do that unless godly sorrow over sin is borne in our heart by the Holy Spirit, and that will not happen until we believe our personal sin has left us corrupt, empty, and totally bankrupt before God.
The reward for this attitude is that the person will be ‘comforted’. The popular definition of this word is to ‘soothe, console, or reassure; bring cheer; to make physically comfortable’. That’s good, but it’s not what Jesus said.
In the language of Jesus, the word means ‘to come along side’ or ‘to call to one’s side’. When a person knows and accepts his/her spiritual depravity before God and is cut to the heart in godly sorrow over that spiritual condition, Jesus comes along side that person, not to make him/her comfortable, but to remove their sin so that godly sorrow will be turned to spiritual joy.
“Father, thank You for opening my eyes to my spiritual bankruptcy. Thank You for the convicting power of Your Holy Spirit that has, and continues to bring godly sorrow for sin in my spirit, for I know I will never be rid of this sinful heart of flesh until I see You face to face. Thank You for coming along side me through Your Holy Spirit. I am truly comforted by His presence moment by moment, day by day.”