The Second Beatitude
Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
The person that mourns is the one who recognizes that he is a sinner before God. Such a person mourns over his various sins because he recognizes that not only do his sins greatly hurt our heavenly Father, he also realizes that he is empty of righteousness, and does not even begin to deserve salvation and the joys of heaven. This miserable, but repentant sinner, realizes that only through the grace of God does he have forgiveness and salvation. Jesus says such a person is blessed, and there is no greater blessing than to receive such divine approval. Those who are blessed in this way by God will see God and dwell with him forever.
Do you mourn for the many sins you have committed? No one mourns unless the Holy Spirit convicts him of sin and reveals to him that he is a violator of the laws of God. We must also realize that as believers we all have violated God’s law but only true Christians, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, will realistically declare that not only are they spiritually bankrupt, but they are completely lost without Jesus Christ living in their lives. And only Christians will declare that they are by nature enemies of God, acknowledging that to sin means to set oneself against a holy God. The unbeliever on the other hand feels that this is nothing but foolishness, and he has no time for any of it. For the wicked refuse to take down such barriers to God as pride and arrogance. Psalm 10:4 “The wicked are to proud to seek God; God is in none of their thoughts.”
Thus, the mourning of Christians referred to in this beatitude is not because of financial loss, terminal sickness, the death of loved ones, loneliness, a divorce, or some rejection being experienced. Christians mourn because they realize that they have sinned against a holy God and have brought dishonor to his name. And this dishonor of God’s very name brings great mourning to the true believer. The true believer mourns when he sins because he knows that the sin just committed brings great pain and sorrow to God. And this mourning by the true Christian is the kind of mourning recorded by Paul in Romans 7:24, where he says, “What a wretched man I am!”
It is also the kind of mourning that brings unbelievable joy and hope to the believer. Paul wrote about this in 2 Corinthians 7:10 “For sadness in a Godly way makes for repentance that leads to salvation”.
That’s right, it is Godly mourning and sorrow that leads to repentance which brings salvation to those experiencing it. Godly sorrow causes us to loathe, despise, and repudiate sin, and this leads the believer to sincerely repent of those sins. Those who experience Godly sorrow truly forsake sin and turn to the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the necessary steps to eternal salvation.
What is the promise to those who mourn? They will be comforted. Who will be comforted? Only those who mourn, meaning only those who repent. Only those who grieve over their sins under the conviction of the Holy Spirit and cry out to God, saying, “Woe is me! I am a sinner. I am unclean. I have sinned against heaven and against you. I have sinned grievously. My sin is so great”. They will be the ones who will be comforted. Why will only such people be comforted? Because they alone know that Jesus Christ came to seek and save that which is lost. They alone look to the cross of Jesus Christ and realize that Christ died for their sins.
Using the prodigal son once again as an example, it tells us in Luke 15 of this young man who became very dissatisfied at home, and looked to the world for answers. This man left his father’s house to go to a far country to experiment and find pleasure with sin, but soon the fun was over. He became famished, lonely, brokenhearted, and rejected by all. But by God’s grace this young man came to himself, became sober and began to think clearly and Godly.
In verse 20 of Luke 15 we see this young man going back home. He was now a poor, wretched, miserable, naked specimen of humanity, but he was going home to his father. He mourned and wept as he walked, and when he reached his father, he said, “Father, I have sinned against God and against you. I am not worthy to be called your son. Just make me a servant of yours at the lowest rank, for I need to be comforted. Save me, for I am lost.”
How did the father react to his son? He cried out in joy and then comforted him. The father hugged and kissed him and gave him a fine garment to wear. He told the servants to put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. He ordered a great celebration with music and feasting. And when the other son questioned why the father was doing these things, the father said he had the greatest of all reasons: “This son of mine was dead but is now alive; he was lost but now is found” (Luke 15:24). What awesome comfort this son now had.