Matthew 5:4  Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

As a pastor for 22 years, I have had the opportunity to conduct many funerals.  There is probably no other occasion on which we see a greater contrast between believers and non-believers.  We, as believers, are victorious in times of sorrow, trouble and tribulation. Why did Jesus say that we are blessed when we mourn?

First, when we as believers mourn we grow emotionally and spiritually.  In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  What is intended by the enemy for our destruction becomes the foundation stone of blessing, growth and spiritual maturity (Romans 8:28,29).  The difficulties we encounter produce perseverance, character and hope in our lives (Romans 5:4,5).  Much of the character growth which I have seen in my own life has come through deep inner transformation in times of difficulty.

Second, God uses our sorrow to enable us to comfort others with the comfort which we have received from God (2 Corinthians 1:3,4).  God is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.  When He comforts us, we comfort others with the exact words and in the same spirit which God used to comfort us.  Those who have gone through a difficult divorce can be of help to those who are going through a divorce.  Those who have lost a child can be a tremendous comfort to those who lose a child.  Only those who have ministered to a spouse who has altzeimers know the pain of years of ministering to someone who doesn’t even know them anymore.

Third, those who mourn are comforted by God’s Holy Spirit.  The word for “they will be comforted” is the same word in verb form as the word which is used for the Holy Spirit (paraklytos).  It  means “called alongside.”  When we as believers mourn, we find that our inability to handle grief causes us to seek Christ’s presence and His comfort (Matthew 11:28). We don’t delight in the sorrow, but we find that the sorrow brings us closer to Christ, and we delight in His presence.

So, what Satan intended for harm, God uses for our spiritual growth, for the good of others, and to comfort us with His very presence.


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