Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
~ Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
Mourning is the kind of grief that cannot be hidden. It can be a deep sorrow for our own unworthiness that leads us to trust the Lord as our total Provider, seeking His presence and counsel (authority). Such action is rewarded by the Father’s gracious comfort.
It can also be for grief over the sorrow and suffering of this world. Blessed is the man who cares intensely for the sufferings, sorrows and needs of others. And so again we can paraphrase this Beatitude:
Blessed are those whose hearts are broken for the world’s suffering and are deeply sorry for their sin and unworthiness, for they will find the joy and comfort of God.
As we meditate on this, what comes to mind is the need to mourn for the state of the church and Christians generally. In many countries, churches are weak and nominal, or are split by internal conflicts. There is need to mourn. There is need to mourn also for believers who have quit the struggle and crossed to the other side.
Mourn for the poor quality of preaching, the lack of prayer and the deficiency of spiritual power. Mourn for those who come to the church only to find they are unwelcome. Mourn for Christians unwilling to introduce the light of Christ to them. Mourn for a church hiding its light, too scared to let it shine. Yes, there is much to mourn for. Yet, the promise is, if we mourn, comfort will come.
A self-sufficient Bible trainer from the West, spent time in China with young leaders needing biblical training. He felt inadequate at first but later wrote, “As I left them, I wept. I wept because I had to go back to a world where God was not taken half as seriously. I wept to return to a church where if I do not insert enough clever illustrations, eyes glaze over and no one listens to my talks. I wept to go back to a world of unread Bibles and dry eyes. I wept to return to a lifestyle that would regard me as mad if I kept trying to rise at 4.30 a.m. for prayer. I wept because I really wanted to stay with those fifty teachers and learn to love God as they did.”
RESPONSE: Today I will repent of my self-sufficiency.
PRAYER: Lord, I truly mourn over my own sin and unworthiness. And I mourn too for the deep and painful suffering that I see around our globe. May I receive Your joy and comfort.
Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.