As anxiety intensifies leading up to Nov. 3, align your spirit with the Lord of peace through the Beatitudes.
Today’s beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
These words are incredible comfort for those who have lost loved ones. Jesus assures His followers who grieve: You will be comforted!
Another equally valid interpretation of these words requires a broader understanding of “mourn.” Thinking of the overall themes of the Beatitudes, Jesus is speaking about the harsh conditions of this world and the promises of the world to come. Among the harsh conditions of this world are persecution. This world can be a mean place because people can be cruel.
For those who desire God’s will to be done in this world, we may grieve over the sin and evil around us … and within us as sinful people. If you’ve ever felt sad about the ugliness in the world, you can relate to this beatitude.
The Bible describes Jesus weeping three times – most famously when Lazarus died, a reference in Hebrews 5:7, and over Jerusalem. Yes, Jesus cried over His nation! In Luke 19:41: “And when He drew near and saw the city, He wept over it.”
Jesus knew what was coming. He knew His own people would reject and kill Him. He suffered all of it for our sake, to redeem the world from its ugliness and meanness.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes of Jesus’ followers, “They do not go out of their way to look for suffering, or try to contract out of it by adopting an attitude of contempt or disdain. They simply bear the suffering that comes their way as they try to follow Jesus Christ, and bear it for His sake. Sorrow cannot tire them or wear them down, it cannot embitter them or cause them to break down under the strain; far from it, for they bear their sorrow in the strength of Him who bears them up, who bore the whole suffering of the world on the cross.” (The Cost of Discipleship)
If the troubles of this world grieve you, Jesus understands. He cared about His nation; He cares about ours, too. He mourned the death of His friend; He cries with you in your losses. His compassion is limitless.
Whatever your burden, He will help you carry it. You bear your sorrow in the strength of Him who bore the whole suffering of the world on the cross
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