Beatitude 2—Those Who Mourn

By Michael Christian


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” 

 Have you ever had a dream that died? Sure, we all have…a marriage that didn’t last, parents who weren’t there, a business that failed, a loved one who died, mistakes that cost us dearly, or perhaps being unable to achieve a goal.

Every time a dream dies, a little piece of your heart dies also, and you enter a state of mourning for your loss. In the second Beatitude, Jesus proclaimed God’s compassion for all who mourn.

Now I'm taking a broader point of view than is often followed in teaching on this verse.

A frequent interpretation of "mourning" is the deep contrition a sinner feels when the awareness of sin floods his heart.

Not only should we recognize and mourn sinful attitudes but the needless and long-lasting consequences that sin has produced. 

But it's comforting to know the Lord in His mercy can look through broken commandments to see broken hearts and shattered dreams. God doesn't see only sin, He sees people in all their circumstances.

The title of an old Dottie Rambo song nicely expresses the Lord's compassion, "He Looked Beyond My Faults and Saw My Need."

Not only is there a mourning for sin, but sometimes circumstances beyond our control have dashed our expectations and broken our hearts.

God's Promise to All Who Mourn

No matter who you are, your life probably hasn’t turned out exactly like you thought (whose has?), and you may be in mourning whether you acknowledge it or not. God sees your pain and promises to comfort you.

The Bible says, The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalm 34:18, NLT)

The Father has promised not to leave you comfortless, He will come to you. (John 14:18) Jesus is the healer of the brokenhearted. (Luke 4:18)

The Dream That Came to Life Again

There is a wonderful illustration of a restored dream in Old Testament times.

When the prophet Samuel crowned Saul king over Israel, Samuel dreamed a “kingdom dream” of a godly king ruling a godly nation. He envisioned the glory of God’s kingdom shining through His people.

But as King Saul aged, the kingdom dream became less and less a reality. Saul’s mental condition declined as he descended through disobedience into jealousy, fear, and self-centeredness.

As Samuel recognized what Saul had become, he mourned for the lost opportunity.

Enough Mourning

But one day the Lord shook Samuel out of his grief, saying, “How long will you mourn for Saul?” (1 Samuel 16:1) Enough already!

Ecclesiastes 3:4 tells us there is "a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”

Mourning and grieving have their season, but then it's time to take off the black and go forward with life, even if we still walk with “a limp.”

The Lord promised to turn our mourning into dancing, but He can do this only if we are willing to arise and move our feet. (Psalm 30:11)

Taking Action

Once the Lord got Samuel’s attention, He sent him to the house of Jesse the Bethlehemite to anoint Jesse’s youngest son David as the next king over Israel.

To “anoint” someone meant pouring olive oil on their head, which was symbolic of the Spirit of God filling them with wisdom, courage, and leadership ability.

While Samuel didn’t live to see the glory of David's kingdom, he was comforted in knowing that God had started a new plan through David, a man after God’s own heart who would do His will.

It's good to be like Samuel in bringing our shattered dreams to the Lord, knowing that He will mend, restore, and comfort us as He gives our life fresh direction.

Things in the past may have ended in disaster, yet one minute in the presence of the Lord can heal your heart and help you chart a new course.

Don't Blame God for What People Do

People sometimes hold God responsible for the death of their dreams. But it’s important to understand that while He is all-powerful, He does not control the free will actions of men. As a result, the terrible things that happen on earth are not His will.

God, being good, does not do evil and “allows” evil to the extent that His creations, Adam and Eve and their children (us), allow evil.

Don’t fall into the devil’s trap of blaming God for what happened to you. This cuts you off from the only One who can give you a hand up and out of the mourning. Here is a prayer to help you forgive God.

Father, I come before You not understanding everything that happened in my life. I expected You to do _______________, but it did not happen. I confess I am confused, discouraged, and even angry. But I place on the altar all my unfulfilled expectations and dreams. I determine to worship You from this day forward, without reservation or condition. You will be my God and I will be Your servant, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

When Samuel anointed David the future king of Israel, King Saul was still on the throne and persecuted David, causing him ongoing hardships and discouraging circumstances, including the death of his parents.

But in the end, God turned the bad around for good. In Psalm 30:11 King David declared the amazing things God had done for him, You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11, NLT)

That will be your testimony, too, as God brings comfort into your life, and turns your mourning into blessing. The first word of this beatitude is “Blessed,” which means “happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of [one’s] outward conditions.” (Matthew 5:4, The Amplified Bible.)

Are you ready for the next phase in your life? Let the Holy Spirit lead you out of the house of mourning into the place of a new beginning!

"Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

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