Sometimes when I read scripture, I can hardly believe it. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus says,
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
(Matthew 5:4 NIV)
You must be kidding me. When I first read this as a young boy, I thought these words referred to God's comfort in life's deep sorrows, losses and disappointments. Indeed He is our Comfort in these times. However, in this verse mourning takes on a different meaning.
If I were to understand God's sadness over my indifference to my sin, I would be grieved beyond description and brokenhearted. Then and only then would the blessedness of mourning make sense as it results in the comfort of knowing His choice to pay the penalty for my sin.
The biblical scholar William Barclay understood his indifference to his own sin and mourned over it. He then experienced the comfort and joy that came when he embraced God's great love and mercy. "It's an astonishing thing to speak of the joy of sorrow, of the gladness of grief, and of the bliss of the brokenhearted."
Let us this week share in the blessed privilege of mourning together.