Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5: 4)
The “beatitude” teaching of Jesus we’ll explore today is yet another seeming paradox. If you have ever been in deep mourning over a loss, you will recognize that such times of great pain feel like anything but a state of blessing. And yet Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5: 4)
So what is mourning (grief)? In my book, “This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen to Me,” I defined grief as “the healing process of fully experiencing the perception of loss.” Though the process is extremely heart-rending, healthy grieving actually brings about healing from the loss.
Healing does not mean that you forget it. It means that you learn to live well in spite of it.
I say “healthy grieving” because some do get stuck when they derail in their thinking and in their behaviors. That’s outside the scope of this blog, addressed more fully in the book. Suffice it to say here that experiencing the pain of loss is the God-given way of cleansing the human psyche to prepare you for moving onto the next phase of your life.
Interestingly, scientific research has demonstrated that tears are physiologically healing. They are also psychologically and spiritually healing.
So at least a part of the blessing is that there is healing happening when you are mourning. It’s like if you had cancer, and you had surgery to remove it. I can assure you that as you wake up after surgery, you will not be “jumping stumps,” as we say here in the South. You’ll be in a great deal of pain. Though is does not feel like it at that moment, what you are going through is preparing the way for you to live without the invasive disease consuming more and more of your life.
When you grieve, it hurts. It hurts a lot. But slowly, you begin feel a little better. You start to see glimpses of light.
You have moments, then even an hour when you don’t think about it. You begin to find your way in your “new normal.”
This brings us to a wonderful four-letter word contained in this principle Jesus taught: “They WILL be comforted.” That WILL word is an emphatic promise for the future. This grieving won’t last forever. As you trust in God, He will be faithful to bring you through this. That gives rise to another four-letter word, one of my favorites: HOPE. Hope fights depression (which is not the same as grief).
Psalms 30:5 tells us, “Grief may last for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Weeping lasts only for a time. Even death does not have the final victory. Hope is clearly another blessing in the midst of mourning.
With those thoughts in mind, now let’s summarize by reading from the Amplified Bible to shed a little more light on the meaning of this Be (Blessed) Attitude: “Blessed and enviably happy [with a happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His matchless grace] are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!” And from The Message Bible, a most interesting thought: “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”
O Lord, when I’m grieving, it’s hard to see anything but the pain. But please give me Your divine eyes to see that You are with me always and that You will bring me through it, no exceptions. Let HOPE rise up within me, for I WILL be comforted. I trust that promise because I trust You.