Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 (NKJV)
The sorrow and promise that is given here are not a general sorrow. This doesn’t refer to the sorrow that comes when things go wrong in our life. This isn’t to say that God doesn’t comfort us during these times because he certainly does. There are plenty of places in Scripture that speak to this. This just isn’t one of them.
As we look at these attitudes it’s important to recognize how they are interconnected. Those that come to the place where they understand the seriousness of their sin and their spiritual poverty, mourn for their sin. They mourn first for their own sin and then for the sins of others. The word that is translated as mourn is the strongest word possible for mourning. It is like the deep mourning and wailing that occurs when a loved one dies. It is a deep, desperate and helpless sorrow and in this case it comes not because of a tragedy but because we recognize how serious our sin is.
It is rare to see this kind of mourning for sins in our day and age. Have you ever wondered why? I think the main problem is that we don’t have a Biblical view of sin. The word sin in our culture at large is generally used to refer to things that are seen as indulgences. These are things we know we shouldn’t have, but it’s just so good we will anyway. We may regret it tomorrow, but right now we are going to enjoy it and joke about how sinfully delicious it is. Of course what this really means is that it is no big deal.
Sadly, many times this is the same general attitude that we have toward sin. This is certainly not the Biblical view of sin. Look at some of what the Bible says about sin.
Sin is a work of the devil. “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning…” (1 John 3:8 NKJV)
Those who sin are children of the devil. “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do…” John 8:44 (NKJV)
Sin is an abominable thing God hates. “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord…” (Proverbs 15:9 NKJV)
Sin is disgraceful. “Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 14:34 NLT)
All sin is done against God. “Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight– That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.” Psalm 51:4 (NKJV)
Sin defiles us. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.” Matthew 15:19-20 (NKJV)
Sin brings the wrath of God. “For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:5-6 NKJV)
Sin brings death. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” James 1:14-15 (NKJV)
Sin enslaves me. “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?” Romans 6:16 (NKJV)
Sin is the reason Jesus was crucified. “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,” (1 Peter 3:18 NIV)
When we recognize the severity of our sin we will mourn for our sin. The promise for that genuinely mourns for their sin is that they will be comforted. They will be comforted. This comfort comes because mourning leads to repentance, repentance leads to confession and confession leads to forgiveness.
“I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” Selah Psalm 32:5 (NKJV)
This is why God wants us to mourn for our sins. It’s not so that we can live lives of shame, guilt and feeling beat down. It’s so that we will turn to Him and seek His grace and mercy. God wants to forgive us for our sins. He wants to forgive us so much that He sent Jesus to die that awful death we talked about for our sins. Before we can be forgiven we must repent. We must turn from our sins and turn to God. We won’t repent until we truly mourn for our sins. This leaves us separated from God and far from the life He wants us to have.
Do you see your sin as serious as described above?
Do you mourn for your sins?
Is there sin in your life that you need to confess to God and receive His forgiveness?