Blessed Through the Mess

November 6, 2022

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

Mourn-to feel or express grief or sorrow 2: to show the customary signs of grief for a death

Theology of Work Bible Commentary-“Blessed are those who mourn” (Matt. 5:4). People do not normally think of mourning as a blessing. It is a sorrow. But with the coming of the kingdom of heaven, mourning becomes a blessing because the mourners “will be comforted.” The implication is that God himself will do the comforting. The affliction of mourning becomes the blessing of profound relationship with God. That is a blessing indeed!

We have all mourned over something. Whether that be mourning over a lost loved one. Mourning over the loss of a job. Mourning over the realization of the damage that our sins have caused us or other people. The bottom line is that we have all mourned over something. But it’s when we come to God and put our hope in Him and truly repent and seek his forgiveness and mercy that we will be comforted.

Today, I want to give you three examples of times that mourning that took place in the Bible and how those examples fit our lives today.

  1. That Time the Grave Clothes Came Off

        John 11:17-27

17On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;26and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

John 11: 30-35 30Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34“Where have you laid him?”he asked.

“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.

35Jesus wept.

  John 11:38-44 (NIV)- 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”

44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

It’s time to stop wandering in our grave clothes of pity and grief and its time to start walking in the freedom that only God can give us. It’s time for the mourning to end and the joy to begin. It’s time to start dancing. He has turned our mourning into dancing. It’s time we start living like it! It’s okay to reflect on the lives of those we’ve lost and the place where God delivered us from. But we must now focus on the joy that only his comfort can bring and begin walking in the freedom he provides. It’s not just in our times of grief when we are comforted. It’s in our times of sincere repentance when we are comforted as well.

Matthew 5:4 (AMP)- “Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are those who mourn [over their sins and repent], for they will be comforted [when the burden of sin is lifted].

Asbury study bible-Those who mourn (5:4) realize the awfulness of their past sins and are deeply sorry for them. They know there is no relief from their grief outside of God. Consequently, they place their hope in God. He forgives their sins, erases their guilt, and assures them of vindication at the Final Judgment (cf. 3:11-12; 26:28).

2. That Time the Verdict was Overturned

Luke 23:39-43 (TPT)- 39One of the criminals hanging on the cross next to Jesus kept ridiculing him, saying, “What kind of Messiah are you? Save yourself and save us from this death!”40The criminal hanging on the other cross rebuked the man, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You’re about to die! 41We deserve to be condemned. We’re just being repaid for what we’ve done. But this man—he’s done nothing wrong!” 42Then he said, “I beg of you, Jesus, show me grace and take me with you into your everlasting kingdom!”

43Jesus responded, “I promise you—this very day you will enter paradise with me.”

Are we to that point yet where we are so fed up with our sin that we are in mourning and agony over our guilt and know that we need God’s forgiveness in order to not live in this state of mourning any longer?

That’s the point that this criminal got to and he knew he needed God’s comfort.

3. That Time Jesus Was in the Garden

Luke 22:39-45(TPT) 39Jesus left the upper room with his disciples and, as was his habit, went to the Mount of Olives, his place of secret prayer. 40There he told the apostles, “Keep praying for strength to be spared from the severe test of your faith that is about to come.”41Then he withdrew from them a short distance to be alone. Kneeling down, he prayed, 42“Father, if you are willing, take this cup of agony away from me. But no matter what, your will must be mine.”43Jesus called for an angel of glory to strengthen him, and the angel appeared. 44He prayed even more passionately, like one being sacrificed, until he was in such intense agony of spirit that his sweat became drops of blood, dripping onto the ground. 45When Jesus finished praying, he got up and went to his disciples and found them all asleep, for they were exhausted and overwhelmed with sorrow. 46“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “You need to be alert and pray for the strength to endure the great temptation.”

Jesus was in such mourning that he sweat drops of blood. He was in such agony over what was about to happen. However, He knew that it had to be done so that we could have a way to be free from mourning ourselves over our pain and affliction and ultimately to have the avenue to spend eternal life with him.

His flesh didn’t want to endure the pain that was to come but his spirit knew that it had to be done in order for us to feel comfort when we are in mourning.

Jesus is the only one who can offer you true peace and comfort. It’s only in Him where this is found. Nobody else can offer us the comfort that we need. Not a spouse. Not a child. Not an image. Not a bottle. Not carbs. Not saturated fats or ice cream. It’s only by the comforting power of Jesus that we can find true comfort in the midst of our sorrow or grief.

There’s an old song that most of us know. It’s a song about salvation and forgiveness. I believe it could also be a song about our mourning and those times where the weight of our loss and grief feel the heaviest.

Jesus paid it all

I hear the savior say Thy strength indeed is small

Child of weakness watch and pray Find in me thine all in all

Jesus paid it all All to him I owe Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow Lord, now indeed I find

Thy power and thine alone Came and changed the lepers spots

And it melt the heart of stone Jesus paid it all

All to him I owe Sin had left a crimson stain

He washed it white as snow And when before the throne

I stand in him complete Jesus died my soul to save

My lips shall still repeat Jesus paid it all All to him I oweSin had left a crimson stain He washed it white as snow