It's been a while since I posted a blog, so as you read this one, I encourage you to go back to the previous blog (Part 1) to be acquainted with the scriptures.
"Blessed are Those who Mourn..."
One of the things that stand out most about the Beatitudes is how helpful they are. A lot of people struggle with the idea that they are impossible to truly live out. As a matter of fact, in my bible classes back in college, I was repeatedly told they are impossible to live out. I was told they are at best simply suggestions, but when we truly analyze them, they would fall apart. This was always a struggle for me to accept, and I often wondered if anyone believed what we were hearing. For me, they aren’t just suggestions. The older I get, the more I realize that these Beatitudes are great advice for getting through life. Even better, more than just getting through life, they are perfect for thriving in the toughest situations.
Throughout our lifetime, we will all go through many times of difficulty, as well as wonderful times. Sometimes, the difficulties are so overwhelming they cause us to lose sight of God. When we lose sight of God, I find that the next step in the progression is to blame God for the bad in our lives. We tend to think that God is in control, so if bad things happen, it must be because He allowed it or even caused it. I understand that line of thinking, because I used to think that way. If you know my testimony, you know how I blamed God for the bad things in my life… the Lord gives and takes away. The closer I get to God, the more I realize how sad that line of thinking is. God doesn’t give and take away. I know Job said that, but Job was wrong. Job 1:22 doesn’t say Job was right when he said that, and it doesn’t say that it wasn’t a sin when he did. It says God didn’t count it as a sin… That’s different than saying it wasn’t a sin. Job was wrong, and Jesus cleared it all up in John 10:10.
Regardless of whether we blame God or not, when bad things happen, it hurts. When we lose people, we should mourn. It’s a healthy response. But we have to mourn the right way. Sometimes, I find people mourn loss a little too hard. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 says, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.” We put our hope in Jesus, and His ability to resurrect our loved ones.
What does it mean to mourn too hard? I believe it means when we are so sad that it causes us to lose sight of Jesus, to blame Him, or to turn our back on him. I had an encounter with a young man a few years ago who had lost his parents when he was a child, and then lost his grandparents as a teenager. He was furious at God because people had told him that God had taken them home. He wanted them here, with him. He missed them. In his grief, he decided to turn his back on God and instead he made his decisions with the mindset of making God angry. He hated God. So, God had our paths cross. Here I was, absolutely in love with God because I saw how wonderful and kind He is, whereas this other guy was filled with hatred toward God because he was convinced that God was cruel and unjust. We talked for a short while, maybe 15 minutes. It was all I needed to clear up everything for the young man. I will never forget his response… “You mean all I have to do is tell God I’m sorry, and He will forgive me of everything I’ve done to Him?” I answered, “You don’t have to say you’re sorry, bro. He already forgave you. That’s how good He really is.” He fell on his knees, with tears streaming down his tattooed face, “I really am sorry though. I’ve just been so mad!...”
It was a beautiful moment, watching him get healed by the Father’s love. It was there that this Beatitude began to change it’s meaning for me. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. All the pain, the anger, the sadness, the hurt will be changed when we stop looking at the issues and fix our gaze on Jesus.
It reminds me of Isaiah 61:3- where it says Jesus will bestow on us “the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” God loves to trade our bad things for good things, our heavy things for light things.
In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
How amazing is God? He cares about us. If we go to Him, He will take all the bad stuff away. And I love this Beatitude because it tells me it’s okay to mourn. We just have to make sure we keep our eyes on Jesus. When we mourn with God, He takes the pain away, brings gladness and praise to our lives, and helps us to get going again. He wants us to mourn… with Him. He wants us to mourn with the knowledge that He gives life, He loves you, and He will never forsake you.
What happens if we don’t mourn? There are a lot of people who don’t take their pain to God, nor do they mourn on their own. These people shove the pain deep down, and try to cover it all up. What happens to them is for a while it looks good, things are okay, but eventually it finds its way to the surface. That is never pretty. If we don’t allow ourselves to mourn, we will eventually be left with an emotional paralysis. We can’t function. We can’t move forward. We may not have the pain, but we don’t have anything at all. If we don’t mourn when we are needing to, it causes us serious problems.
David mourned the deaths of Jonathan and King Saul, and of his son Absalom. Nehemiah mourned at the news of Jerusalem. There is no greater comfort than to be in the arms of our Heavenly Father when we need Him. I find that when people worship God, He often brings the buried issues in our hearts to the surface and He deals with them, healing our hearts in the process. He doesn’t want us to mask anything. He wants us to be free, from everything that could hold us back or contaminate our relationship with Him.
I hope this encourages you today, or in the future. I pray that this blog would be something you remember in times of hurting. It’s okay to hurt. Take it to the Lord. Don’t try to heal yourself. Don’t pretend to be fine. Talk with your Heavenly Dad, share your feelings and thoughts. Let Him love you in the midst of the pain. Bless you…