As we continue to learn from what is called “the beatitudes,” the sermon that Jesus preached on the Mount of Beatitudes, “Blessed are they that mourn.” The logical question would be, “How can mourning lead to happiness?” Well, Jesus isn’t talking about the grief of a great loss. The loss of a loved one we care about, the loss of a job, or a sense of failure where we’re not able to achieve a goal that we have that we’ve been striving for. That’s not what this word for ‘mourning’ means. This is mourning over sin in this world. Mourning over bad news that results in evil. In Oklahoma, three bored teenagers decided they’d go kill somebody. So, they went out and shot a college baseball player who had come to the United States to pursue his dream in baseball. Just for fun – because they were bored. Not just one lost life, but four wasted lives. This is the type of mourning Jesus speaks of. Mourning over the evil in this world.
But it’s even more than that. It’s not just mourning evil in the world, it’s about mourning our own sin. It is the realization that we’ve let God down when we don’t follow His will. This kind of mourning is NOT remorse because you got caught! We live in a nation full of remorseful people when they get caught. Rather, it’s a mourning of deep grief and shame that we have let God down.
So, where’s the up side? Well, when we come to realize this about ourselves, then we understand that Christ died in our place, in your place and my place, to pay the penalty for our sins on the cross. In so doing, He offers us forgiveness and mercy, even though we deserve the judgment of God. When we realize this and cry out to God, He gives us comfort. It is a greater comfort than anyone else can give us.
Have you experienced that kind of mourning? It is a key to discovering happiness that lasts. Yes, Jesus’ teaching on happiness is radically counter-cultural to the world in which we live. But it is absolutely true. Don’t you want to be truly happy in the ultimate form of happiness – with Jesus? It begins with mourning.