"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
I'm just going to give you some thoughts out of John MacArthur's commentary on this verse -
The mourning that Jesus is talking about is godly sorrow, godly mourning, mourning that only those who sincerely desire to belong to Him or who already belong to Him can experience.
The first beatitude made clear that entrance into the kingdom of heaven begins with a recognition of total spiritual bankruptcy. Spiritual poverty leads to godly sorrow; the poor in spirit become those who mourn.
There are nine terms used for sorrow, the one used in this verse is the strongest, most severe. It represents the deepest, most heart-felt grief, and was generally reserved for grieving over the death of a loved one. It is used to describe Jacob's grief when he thought Joseph was killed by a wild animal. It is also used of the disciples' mourning for Jesus before they knew He was raised from the dead. The word carries the idea of a deep inner agony over their sin, which may or may not be expressed by outward weeping.
Godly mourning brings God's forgiveness, which brings God's happiness.
Those who express deep inner agony over their sin will have their grief wiped away by the loving hand of Jesus Christ.
If it was necessary for Jesus Christ to shed His blood on the cross to save us from our sin, our sin must be great indeed!
One step toward godly mourning is to study sin in Scripture, to learn what an evil and repulsive thing it is to God and what a destructive damning thing it is to us. We should learn from David to keep our sin ever before us (Psalm 51:3) and from Isaiah to say, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips." (Isaiah 6:5)
Sin tramples on God's laws, makes light of His love, grieves His Spirit, spurns His forgiveness and blessing, and in every way resists His grace.
Pray for contriteness of heart, which only God can give and which He never refuses to give those who ask. It must always be recognized that humility depends on the working of the Lord.
How do we know if we have godly mourning? We need to ask ourselves if we are sensitive to sin. Do we laugh at it or take it lightly? Do we enjoy it? If we do, we can be sure we are not mourning over it and we are outside of the sphere of God's blessing.
The second way to determine if we have godly mourning over sin is to check our sense of God's forgiveness. Have we experienced the release of freedom of knowing our sins are forgiven? Do we have His peace and joy in our life?
And this is from a sermon by Jerry Bridges on this verse -
"I am a great sinner, but I have a great Savior."
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