Matthew 5: 4 begins: “Blessed are they that mourn.” But how can mourning lead to happiness? Well, Jesus isn’t speaking about the mourning or grief of a great loss. The loss of a loved one we care about, the loss of a job, or a crushing failure is not what this word for ‘mourning’ means. This use of ‘mourning’ is referring to deep grief at the sin in this world. It’s mourning over bad news that results in evil, like when 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 of playing baseball. Just for fun – because they were bored. Four lives wasted. This is the type of mourning that Jesus speaks of – deep mourning over the evil in this world.
But there’s a more personal connotation to this statement. It’s not just mourning evil in the world, but it’s also mourning our own sin. It’s the realization that when we don’t follow God’s will, we let Him down. Don’t confuse this feeling of mourning with guilt because you got caught. The world is full of remorseful people when their sin is exposed. This kind of mourning, however, is one of deep grief and shame that we have let God down.
So, is there a positive side to all this? Jesus states that when we finally come to realize the depth of our sin in comparison to the sacrifice Christ paid on our behalf on the cross, we will experience God’s comfort through His forgiveness and mercy. When offered mercy rather than judgment – this is a comfort greater than anything we could ever know.
Have you experienced this kind of mourning? It is a key to discovering a true happiness that lasts. Yes, Jesus’ teaching on happiness is radically counter-cultural to the world in which we live, but it is absolutely true. Do you long to be truly happy? It begins with recognizing our great need for a Savior. It begins with Jesus.