Do you find yourself guarding your emotions in order to numb the pain? Jesus offered a healing alternative in His second of eight secrets to satisfaction through surrender: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).
Who are satisfied? “Those who mourn” are satisfied (Matthew 5:4). The Bible records three reasons to mourn: (1) the loss of life, (2) sin — desiring life apart from God, and (3) the lost — those who are not surrendered to Christ. God’s people mourned for the loss of life: 70 days for the loss of Jacob (Genesis 50:3) and 30 days for the loss of Aaron (Numbers 20:29) and Moses (Deuteronomy 34:8) among many others. God’s people mourned for their sin (1 Samuel 7:2-4). Both Samuel and God mourned for Saul’s unrepentant, lost heart (1 Samuel 15:35). David mourned for Absalom’s return (2 Samuel 13:37).
Mourning was modeled in the heart and life of Christ. He mourned for the loss of life when Lazarus died. John recorded it succinctly, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35). Jesus mourned for the sin of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:37). While on the cross, He mourned for bearing the sin of the world (Matthew 27:46). Jesus mourned for the lost. When pagan, Roman guards pounded the nails in His hands, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they ae doing” (Luke 23:34).
Why are they satisfied? “They will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). The literal name for the Holy Spirit is Comforter. It means to call along side. When we mourn, we release the Holy Spirit both in and out of our hearts. Paul said that this comfort comes only from God who comforts our hearts so that we will comfort others (2 Corinthians 1:3-7). The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah wrote that God turns our mourning into dancing (Jeremiah 31:13). Isaiah communicated that the Spirit of God works through us to comfort all who mourn (Isaiah 61:2). We either release the Holy Spirit and experience satisfaction, or we hold on to our guardedness and experience dissatisfaction.
How are they satisfied? They surrender their guardedness. When we desire to find satisfaction in and of ourselves, we guard our hearts from mourning and thwart the comfort of the Holy Spirit in and out of our lives. However, when we surrender our guardedness, we will release the Holy Spirit in three ways: one for each reason to mourn.
First, we will comfort others when they experience the loss of a loved one. Jesus did so when He encountered Martha at the death of her brother, Lazarus (John 11:31-33). Second, we will repent from our sin and return to God. Jesus told the young woman caught in adultery, “Go now and leave your life of sin” (John 8:11). Third, we will pray for the lost. Before He went to the cross, Jesus prayed for the lost, that they would surrender to Him as Lord and Savior (John 17:20-21).
Take time to read Luke 23 where you will see that while bearing His cross, Jesus mourned for: the loss of life (vv. 29-31), sin (v. 34), and the lost (v. 43). Surrender your guardedness and mourn for: the loss of life, sin, and the lost. You will be satisfied with the comfort of the Holy Spirit Who will comfort others through you, draw you to repent from sin and return to God, and prompt you to pray for the lost.