Grief before Gladness

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


A few years ago one of my friends died of leukemia. A few weeks before Charles passed away he sat in his hospital talking to a friend and said, “I am so blessed.” His friend looked at him with a surprised look. How could he consider himself blessed as he was staring at the last few weeks of his life? Realizing his friend did not understand, Charles said, “I have the privilege to know how my family and friends feel about me. Most people never get the opportunity to experience this kind of love.” Charles had to help his friend see how blessed he was in his grief. He was a few weeks from death, but was able to say, “I am blessed.”

Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn.” It is true that God comforts his people in their grief. Paul writes to the church at Corinth,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

The God of all comfort, meets us the grace our grief so we then can meet others with grace in theirs. And although God comforts people who mourn in their grief, in this beatitude Jesus is one who mourns over their sin, that they will be comforted.

We need to realize we are sick because of our sin.  Jesus did not come for the healthy, but for the sick. He did not call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Jesus Christ wants us to see the reality of our sin before a holy God.  He wants us to know experience a godly grief for only a, “godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret (2 Cor.7:1). A person is spiritually blessed when they mourn over their sin seeking comfort from Christ.

In Luke 4, Jesus announces his public ministry in Nazareth by quoting the prophet Isaiah, “He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor…and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn” (Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus came to comfort everyone who would mourn over their sin and turn to Him for salvation.

Do you mourn over or minimize your sin? True faith comes only after we deeply grieve over our sin. Beloved, true happiness only comes on the other side of true grief. A godly grief produces repentance that leads to salvation.  It is only after you grieve over your sin that you can be comforted by the Holy Spirit of God. Let us weep over our sin now so we will experience the blessed laughter in the age to come (Luke 6:21).