Are you experiencing deep pain at this moment? Are you mourning, weeping because of pain you caused a loved one? How many kinds of grief, mourning and have you experienced?
The Greek word for mourn is pentheō, a word that generally denotes intense mourning in contrast with lupeomai, a more general word meaning “to grieve”. Let’s read a verse in which lupeomai is used:
And the king was sorry; (lepeomai) nevertheless, because of the oaths and because of those who sat with him, he commanded it to be given to her. Matthew 14:9
Can you imagine Herod’s regret, sorrow, for allowing John the Baptist to be beheaded?
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved (lepeomai) by various trials. 1 Peter 1:6
Are you grieving because of some traumatic experience? This is not as serious as the one that is mentioned by Matthew, the pentheo.
The deep, profound spiritual poverty of the “poor in spirit” is matched by the deep “mourning” of the persons described in verse 4.
In fact, a deep sense of spiritual need leads men to “mourn” for the imperfection they see in their lives.
The mourning here brought to view is true heart sorrow for sin. Jesus says, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto Me.” John 12:32. And as one is drawn to behold Jesus uplifted on the cross, he discerns the sinfulness of humanity.
He sees that it is sin that scourged and crucified the Lord of glory.
While he has been loved with unspeakable tenderness, he sees that his life has been a continual scene of ingratitude and rebellion.
He has forsaken his best Friend and abused heaven’s most precious gift. He has crucified to himself the Son of God afresh and pierced anew that bleeding and stricken heart. He is separated from God by a gulf of sin that is broad and black and deep, and he mourns in the brokenness of his heart.
Such mourning “shall be comforted.” God reveals to us our guilt so that we may flee to Christ, and through Him be set free from the bondage of sin and rejoice in the liberty of the sons of God. In true contrition, we may come to the foot of the cross, and there leave our burdens.
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.”
By these words, Christ does not teach that mourning has the power to remove the guilt of sin. He gives no sanction to pretense or to voluntary humility. The mourning of which He speaks does not consist of melancholy and lamentation. While we sorrow on account of sin, we are to rejoice in the precious privilege of being children of God.
Such sorrow, such mourning will lead to the renunciation of sin.
The tears of the penitent are only the raindrops that precede the sunshine of holiness. This sorrow heralds a joy that will be a living fountain in the soul. Listen to what the prophet Jeremiah has to say on this topic:
“Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your God;” “’I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the LORD; ‘I will not remain angry forever. Jeremiah 3:13,12 “Unto them that mourn in Zion,” He has appointed to give “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Isaiah 61:3
And for those also who mourn in trial and sorrow there is comfort. The bitterness of grief and humiliation is better than the indulgences of sin. Through affliction, God reveals to us the plague spots in our characters, that by His grace we may overcome our faults. Unknown chapters regarding ourselves are opened to us, and the test comes, whether we will accept the reproof and the counsel of God.
When brought into trial, we are not to fret and complain. We should not rebel or worry ourselves out of the hand of Christ. We are to humble the soul before God. The ways of the Lord are obscure to him who desires to see things in a light pleasing to himself. They appear dark and joyless to our human nature. But God’s ways are ways of mercy, and the end is salvation.
Elijah knew not what he was doing when in the desert he said that he had had enough of life, and prayed that he might die. The Lord in His mercy did not take him at his word. There was yet a great work for Elijah to do; and when his work was done, he was not to perish in discouragement and solitude in the wilderness. Not for him the descent into the dust of death, but the ascent in glory, with the convoy of celestial chariots, to the throne on high. God’s word to the sorrowing:
I have seen what they have done. But I will heal them. I will guide them. And I will comfort them just as I did before. Isaiah 57:18
Then young women will dance and be glad. And so will the men, young and old alike. I will turn their sobbing into gladness. I will comfort them. And I will give them joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13
At times we manage to hide our sorrows. But our loving God knows all about it. When Jesus was on earth He tasted sorrow like no one ever would. Actually, He is the only One who can comfort us.
The Saviour’s words have a message of comfort to those also who are suffering affliction or bereavement. Our sorrows do not spring out of the ground. God “He doesn’t want to bring pain or suffering to people.” Lamentations 3:33. When He permits trials and afflictions, it is “for our profit, that we might be partakers of His holiness.” Hebrews 12:10.
If received in faith, the trial that seems so bitter and hard to bear will prove a blessing. The cruel blow that blights the joys of earth will be the means of turning our eyes to heaven. How many there are who would never have known Jesus had not sorrow led them to seek comfort in Him?
The trials of life are God’s workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character. Their hewing, squaring and chiseling, and polishing, is a painful process; it is hard to be pressed down to the grinding wheel.
But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple. Upon no useless material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace.
The Lord will work for all who put their trust in Him. Precious victories will be gained by the faithful. Precious lessons will be learned. Precious experiences will be realized. Our heavenly Father is never unmindful of those whom sorrow has touched.
When David went up the Mount Olivet, “and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot” (2 Samuel 15:30), the Lord was looking pityingly upon him. David was clothed in sackcloth, and his conscience was scourging him.
The outward signs of humiliation testified of his contrition. In tearful, heartbroken utterances he presented his case to God, and the Lord did not forsake His servant.
Never was David dearer to the heart of Infinite Love than when, conscience-smitten, he fled for his life from his enemies, who had been stirred to rebellion by his own son. The Lord says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Revelation 3:19. Christ lifts the contrite heart and refines the mourning soul until it becomes His abode.
But when tribulation comes upon us, how many of us are like Jacob! We think it is the hand of an enemy, and in the darkness, we wrestle blindly until our strength is spent, and we find no comfort or deliverance.
To Jacob the divine touch at break of day revealed the One with whom he had been contending—the Angel of the covenant; and, weeping and helpless, he fell upon the breast of Infinite Love, to receive the blessing for which his soul longed. We also need to learn that trials mean benefit, and not to despise the chastening of the Lord nor faint when we are rebuked of Him.
“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole. He shall deliver you in six troubles, Yes, in seven no evil shall touch you. Job 5:17-19
To every stricken one, Jesus comes with the ministry of healing. The life of bereavement, pain, and suffering may be brightened by the precious revealing of His presence. God would not have us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore and breaking hearts. He would have us look up and behold His dear face of love.
The blessed Saviour stands by many whose eyes are so blinded by tears that they do not discern Him. He longs to clasp our hands, to have us look to Him in simple faith, permitting Him to guide us. His heart is open to our griefs, our sorrows, and our trials. He has loved us with an everlasting love and with loving-kindness compassed us about.
We may keep the heart stayed upon Him and meditate upon His loving-kindness all day. He will lift the soul above the daily sorrow and perplexity, into a realm of peace. My dear friend, victim of suffering and sorrow, rejoice in His love and care.
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 1 John 5:4
Blessed are they also who weep with Jesus in sympathy with the world’s sorrow and in sorrow for its sin. In such mourning, there is intermingled no thought of self. Jesus was the Man of Sorrows, enduring heart anguish such as no language can portray. His spirit was torn and bruised by the transgressions of men.
He toiled with self-consuming zeal to relieve the wants and woes of humanity, and His heart was heavy with sorrow as He saw multitudes refuse to come to Him that they might have life. All who are followers of Christ will share in this experience. As they partake of His love they will enter His travail for the saving of the lost. They share in the sufferings of Christ, and they will share also in the glory that shall be revealed. One with Him in His work, drinking with Him the cup of sorrow, they are partakers also of His joy.
It was through suffering that Jesus obtained the ministry of consolation. In all the affliction of humanity He is afflicted; and “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” Hebrews 2:18.
In this ministry, every soul that has entered the fellowship of His sufferings is privileged to share. “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:5.
The Lord has special grace for the mourner, and its power is to melt hearts, to win souls. His love opens a channel into the wounded and bruised soul, and becomes a healing balsam to those who sorrow.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4
This is the great secret of handling our grief, our sorrow or pain. Go and comfort someone that needs your comfort.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.