When Mourning Brings Blessing
When you think of mourning, does the idea of blessing come to mind? Probably not, after all, no one is clamoring to mourn; yet, Jesus teaches:
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4
How does mourning lead to blessing? When we think of mourning, we usually think of natural mourning over the loss of something or someone we love dearly. And no doubt, God comforts us in those seasons. But that is not the kind of mourning Jesus is teaching about in Matthew 5:4. There is another kind of mourning we experience in life. Sinful morning is grieving over something God never intended to give us. Note the contrast between natural mourning and sinful mourning.
We see an example of sinful mourning with King Ahab in 1 Kings 21. That kind of mourning didn’t lead to blessing for him and it won’t for us either. People can find themselves in danger of sinful mourning when looking at social media. If you find yourself in that place, it’s a good idea to step away from social media for a season. But sinful mourning is not what Jesus is speaking of in Matthew 5:4.
Jesus is teaching about the importance of spiritual mourning, which is deep sorrow over our sins toward God. Spiritual mourning is godly sorrow that leads to repentance and it is blessed because it leads to life change!
10 Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, 2 Corinthians 7:10a
Spiritual mourning is desperately needed today, especially when it comes to tackling habitual sin. Habitual sin is a sin that is repeated over and over again over a long period of time. If you are stuck in this unhealthy spiritual and emotional pattern of sinning, saying to God, “I’m sorry;” but turning around to repeat the same sin again, then it is time for you to practice spiritual mourning.
So what does it look like to mourn in this way; to break the habitual pattern of sin in your life and experience authentic life change? After all, we Believers are called to forsake our sins. (Reference Isaiah 55:6-7; Romans 6:6-7). 19 …“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” 2 Timothy 2:19b
The first element of spiritual mourning is specifically naming your sins. This is different from simply grieving over your sins in general which can lead to a sense of failure and unworthiness. That is not where God wants to take you. Spiritual mourning relates to specific sins, naming those sins without excuse.
So how do you identify those sins? You must be willing to ask yourself some hard questions that will take you into the dark corners and recesses of your life; places you may not want want to go. But when you do, God will shine a light (The Light) on those sins so you can identify them, mourn them, change and move on to progress in your faith journey, enabling you to live in a way that fully honors God in every way.
So how does God shine light in those dark places in your life? God will shine that light on our sins through His Word, His Spirit and His people. Spiritual mourning starts with an open Bible.
130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130
When you are reading scripture daily, God will shine light into those dark places in your life and expose the sin that is present there. If you aren’t reading His Word daily, you miss that opportunity and the change that comes with it.
As you read, ask yourself, “Is there a sin here for me to avoid?” God will use His Word to reveal those sins to you. You also can ask, “Is there a command here for me to obey?” That will expose any areas of disobedience in your life. The Holy Spirit will work as you read and reflect on His Word too! You can even ask, “Is there a promise here for me to embrace?” There are thousands of promises in God’s Word for you!
For much more, including five other critical elements of spiritual mourning, click here to listen to the message: The Blessed Life: A Journey Through Beatitudes Part 2 - I Long for Change.