At Church we’ve been walking through the book of Matthew. This past Sunday my hubby’s sermon was on Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Now having heard and watched the traumatic, shocking, tragic, horrific events that unfolded the other day on the campus of Virginia Tech University, this Scripture is on the tip of everyone’s tongue and begs an answer to the question, “If you were to die today, where would you spend eternity?”
It’s at times like these and like those moments that followed 9/11 that people tend to take a good look at their lives and make changes. That’s what this Scripture is talking about, “blessed – happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous — with life – joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions – are those who soberly assess their lives…” – those who live knowing that the end could be at any moment and live today like there is no tomorrow – will be comforted. That’s not talking about those who waste their lives partying it up, living for the moment, for themselves… either. It makes you ask yourself, “How do you want your life to end?” “What would you do differently?”
In order to be a follower of Christ we have to come to the conclusion that there is nothing in and of ourselves that is good and able to save us. We have to come to a place of relying completely on His grace and not on any of our works. In this verse (vs. 4) we are challenged in our thinking. Remember that these “Beatitudes” are attitudes of people in God’s kingdom.
Vs. 3 talks about our understanding of our spiritual bankruptcy and complete dependence upon him. Vs. 4 talks about our need for an understanding of our emotional bankruptcy.
What does that look like? We need to mourn for the state that this world is in. We also need to mourn for the state that we are in.
James 4:9 Blessed are those who mourn….Change your laughter into mourning and your joy into gloom. Surely we should be people of joy and laughter yet James tells us to grieve, mourn and wail?!
Why would he say that?
Because it is in the house of mourning that we can come to a place of soberly assessing our lives and deciding to make a choice. Making a choice to live differently because we’ve looked at our lives in a sober way. When we stop and assess how we want our lives to end we end up making some changes.
Because in the house of mourning there is a lot of soul searching that goes on because it brings us face to face with the reality of our own mortality.
Jesus is not saying that He wants us to stay in that place of mourning forever. He’s not saying that He wants us to give up all feasting and only be sad and introspective the rest of our lives. But He does want us to continually look at our lives in a sober manner.
The attitude of many young people today is, “Death? The end of my life? I don’t need to think about such things.” Most people would rather be over continually in the land of feasting.
Party Party Party!!!
Why? Because you don’t have to think about things like the end of your life and your eternity. The house of feasting doesn’t cause the same soul searching in people. The house of feasting causes people to be blinded to the way they are living and causes them not to think about how they would like to end their lives.
Kingdom people know how to feast but they have been to the house of mourning and have made some changes. They live with a sober understanding of how they want to end their lives and what choices and sacrifices they will have to make now to do so.
So I ask the questions again, how do you want the end of life to be?
Are you there now?
What changes do you need to make?
Jesus says, “those who mourn will be comforted”. Soberly assess your life!
People ignore the weighty questions of life and have to keep on feasting, partying and more partying to help them avoid the serious questions.
But those who soberly assess their lives will find comfort because they haven’t avoided things. They have wrestled with life questions and have found comfort. There is comfort in knowing we haven’t avoided thinking upon and acting upon inevitable things like our mortality.
The comfort you are looking for will never be found in the house of feasting but those who mourn will live in freedom and will be comforted.