“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
We all have reasons to be upset, sad, hurt. Physical pain causes hurt, and physical pain is good because it lets us know something is wrong. We feel sorrow when someone we love is in pain. We can feel miserable when a family member is injured or sick. We also feel sorrow when bad things happen around us or in our world. Only someone who is heartless or self-centered or is becoming callous can hear about the suffering in our world and not feel sorrow for hurting people. When someone we love is in danger or when we lose someone we love, we feel sorrow.
To mourn is to feel or express sorrow. It means to grieve. Some people think that it is not okay for Christians to mourn, that we have no reason to be upset when bad things happen to those we love. They say that Christians should not grieve because we have faith in Jesus and know that God is in control.
But Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn.” So is it okay to feel or express sorrow? Is it okay to grieve? I believe the Bible teaches that we should mourn when it is appropriate (when there is a genuine cause for mourning). Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is a time for weeping and laughing, for mourning and dancing. Jesus wept as he went to see where his friend Lazarus was buried (John 11:32-44). He was deeply moved, even though he knew what he was going to do (raise Lazarus back to life). In Matthew 5, Jesus says that those who mourn are blessed. Mourning is not wrong. We can feel sorrow, express sorrow, and grieve when there is a genuine reason for it.
However, our mourning or grieving should not be without hope. Those who mourn while not having a relationship with Jesus have no hope and are destitute. Their grief has no resolution and is full of misery with no promise of a better future. Because of Christ, we should not grieve without hope. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, Paul says that we should not grieve like “the rest of men, who have no hope.” Even when someone we love dies, our grief and sorrow should be distinguished by hope. Yes, we feel pain and sorrow because we have lost someone. But our mourning should be hopeful because we know the gracious Creator of the universe. He is faithful and the misery of this life is only temporary. Our future is securely in God’s caring hands. Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” They find comfort when they rely on a gracious Savior. They find comfort knowing that Jesus is always with them and will never leave them. They find comfort knowing that their future is securely in the hands of God.
When you mourn or grieve, do you have hope? Find comfort through Jesus.