Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who mourn? Surely, this isn’t true. But the Amplified Bible sounds even more absurd.
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!
Enviably happy? You’ve got to be kidding me. We need to take a deep dive into this one.
The word ‘mourn’ in this verse is Strong’s Concordance #3996—in the New Testament part of the concordance.
It means to lament, to grieve, to be sorrowful. None of this sounds blessed to me.
Are there other places in God’s word where mourning and comfort are together?
Open your Bibles to Isaiah 61:1-3. I am going to quote here from the Amplified version.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Do you see that? The first part of this scripture is what Jesus quoted in the synagogue in Luke 4:18.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;”
Whether you believe it or not, Jesus based His teaching on His words written in the Old Testament and what He heard Abba speaking to Him.
In Jeremiah 14:1-7, we find these verses:
1 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the droughts.
2 “Judah mourns, And her gates languish; They mourn for the land, and the cry of Jerusalem has gone up.
(It goes on for several verses rehearsing what they lack because of the drought.)
And then this—
7O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do it for Your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many, we have sinned against You.
Okay, keep that in mind while we look again at Isaiah 61:3
3 To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit…
There is a clue here about why they are ‘mourning.’ The words, ‘instead of ashes,’ resonated with the disciples and those hearing this sermon. Ashes played a part in repentance.
Jeremiah 6:26 says, “O daughter of my people, Dress in sackcloth and roll about in ashes! Make mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation…”
Job 42:3-6 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’
5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
6 Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”
Matthew 11:21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have REPENTED long ago in sackcloth and ashes.
Do you see the connection? These scriptures are each speaking of the same thing.
Here is a quote from a man named Roy Blizzard. “Blessed are the spiritual mourners, those who have thrown away their pride and status. To those who are crying out to God, brokenhearted and in despair. These are the ones God comforts.”
Mourning for our sin is a necessary step for true repentance. Saying, “I’m sorry,” without any remorse is not repentance. It is something to say if you want to smooth over your sin and get things back to normal without backlash.
But God looks on those who are grieved by their sin. He comes alongside them and comforts them with the truth. He reminds them of the price Yeshua paid to forgive them. Another meaning for the Greek word mourn is to call alongside for encouragement and strength. This kind of comfort causes us to look to God and His word for direction and to walk a path of righteousness. And—the end is Joy, Blessing, a Life free of Strife, healthy relationships and so much more.
When Nathan confronted David with his sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12), David displayed true repentance. Vs. 13 – David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And later he wrote in Psalm 51:1-4.
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.3 For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.4 Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, and blameless when You judge.
And Psalm 30:11-12 describes the joy of forgiveness.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
The opposite of this practice of mourning for our sin can be seen in those who rejoice in wickedness. It is also seen in those who live a life of rebellion, pride, self-dependence, isolation, and discontentment.
Those who love this world and want to live their lives without considering God’s word, will not receive comfort. They will be plagued throughout eternity.
1 John 2:15-17 says, Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
I love Isaiah 40:1-2 “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!” Says your God. 2 “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
God loves us and He wants us to experience the joy of living with Him. He is merciful and He is forgiving. May we join with those who truly repent. And may we experience the joy of His comfort and the reminder of His forgiveness.