Happy are the Sad – March 19, 2021

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ makes a statement that seems outlandish. He states: Blessed (Happy) are those who mourn (Matthew 5:4). How can the sad be happy? How can the mourning person be blessed? This is an important concept for believers to understand because life is filled with sadness. Loss of loved ones, battles with illness, financial trials, loneliness, and conflict all lead to a steady stream of sadness. Paul recognized that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now (Romans 8:22 NASB). Even creation is longing for the suffering to end. Yet, Christ states clearly that those who mourn are blessed. How can this be?

We must first understand why we mourn so that our mourning is proper. This mourning is not referring to an improper mourning over selfish or sinful desires unfulfilled. This mourning refers to the recognition of the effects of sin in our world. This mourning occurs because we see that sin has corrupted the world. But not just any sin: our sin. Our world is broken, and our lives endure suffering because we sin. Death, decay, and depravity result from our sin. We mourn, not just over the loss of life, the physical struggle, the financial burden, the loneliness, or the conflict, but also over the sin which brought this all about. We mourn over a sin-stained world.

Understanding proper mourning leads to the ability for the sad to be happy in their sadness. Because Christ continues: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. This “shall be” event is both near and far future. It is far future in that the day is coming in which He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away (Revelation 21:4). The day is coming in which God will redeem His creation and make all things right. Glory will be revealed, and mourning will cease eternally.

However, this is also a near future event as well. When the mourner comes to God with a recognition of their own sin and the reality of a sin-stained world, God will comfort them today. Our God invites you to cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). He promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). So, amid your mourning, look to your God for comfort. For he has promised, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.