Volume. XXXVI, No. 4
Sunday, 25 July 2021

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

The second beatitude is given in Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." Today pleasure and joy are the way of happiness, and Jesus' assertion that it is a blessing to mourn seems absurd. The world looks for legal and illegal ways to be happy and does anything to avoid sorrow or mourning. Entertainment, sex, alcohol and even drugs are sought by many in the world to be in a euphoric state. Jesus' second beatitude may look absurd and may make no sense to a hardened sinner. But to the redeemed disciples who belong to Christ, we know Jesus is declaring the secret to find blessedness. In the Beatitudes, Jesus unlocks true blessedness to be spiritually bankrupt, mourn, be meek and so on. Jesus is teaching his disciples, not from the worldly manual of happiness, but he is teaching us about the kingdom of God which is spiritual blessedness. 


The term 'mourn' means to experience deep sadness or grief. Christian mourning here is not referring to some financial loss, sickness, rejection in a relationship, death of loved ones or divorce.  In our context, Jesus is referring to mourning, grieving due to sin in our lives. Those who mourn will genuinely repent of their sinful life and end in the pathway of obedience. When we realize we are sinners before God, we recognize our failures in obedience, and hence, we repent of our sins. When we repent of our sins, we are comforted, and such a life is a life of being blessed.


This kind of mourning is called godly sorrow. In 2 Corinthians 7:10, the Apostle Paul describes what godly sorrow is to the Corinthian church. "For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death." In Romans 7:24, we see godly sorrow in the Apostle Paul when he cried, "What a wretched man I am!" Godly sorrow will cause a believer to hate, despise and reject sin. It is what Peter refers to in Acts 11:18 as, "repentance unto life," meaning repentance that indeed shows one has eternal life.  A believer mourns for his sins, as God has given all believers the Holy Spirit, which convicts him of sin. When one breaks God's moral law, whether lustfully looking at women, covetous living, or even sinful anger, the indwelling Spirit of God causes us to feel remorse. A Christian acknowledges that his fallen nature and its evil tendencies are against a Holy God. Thus, he mourns and repents.


Godly sorrow can be contrasted with another type of sorrow that has the appearance of repentance. That sorrow is carnal as it centres around self. You may feel sorry for the confusion or hurt or mess you created, but you do not hate sin. It is like the sorrow displayed by Esau, Saul or Judas. All three felt remorse and sadness, but there was a lack of godly sorrow, leading to true repentance. Their sorrow was selfish or me-oriented and not God-ward. The worldly sorrow of Saul, Esau and Judas was repentance unto death, for it did not lead to eternal life.  Godly mourning is not having a long, gloomy face or feeling sorry or sympathetic towards oneself. Those who genuinely experience godly sorrow will truly forsake sin and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.


In Luke 7:36-38, we have an excellent example of godly sorrow. "And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house and sat down to meat.  And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment." She spoke not a single word, yet her expression revealed what godly sorrow is, and true repentance is. God's Spirit moved her to do this spontaneously. Blessed are those who mourn, and they are comforted. Jesus words comforted this penitent woman when he said in vs 47-48, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven." She left the feet of Jesus with forgiveness and peace. 


We see godly sorrow demonstrated for us in Psalm 51 also. After committing horrible sins of murder and adultery, David prayed in verse 4, "For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight:" David knew true repentance as he pleaded for God's mercy and forgiveness. He came with a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, and God in His mercy purged and made him clean. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. In the latter part of David's life, he becomes, “a man after God's own heart" (1 Sam. 13:14).  We see similarly godly sorrow in Luke 15:21 when the prodigal son realized he had sinned against God and made a u-turn to the father's abode, desiring only to be a servant. His mourning and repentance led to blessedness, which is seen in the welcome back home celebrations.  Only Spirit-led repentance causes one to see the true nature of sin. Zacchaeus demonstrated his deep mourning for sin when he said in Luke 19:8, "If I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."


It is blessed to mourn, yet many delay mourning. Some love sinning and make a presumption that the mercy of God will always be there. Then others delay mourning and repentance, for they consider their sin to be small or insignificant. Then some know they need to mourn but procrastinate. In the epistle of Hebrews, we have a repeated warning, ‘not to harden our hearts when you hear God's voice.’ May we be not counted as those who harden their heart. Let us emulate the examples of the prodigal son, David, and the adulterous woman, to weep and mourn for our sins. If you weep and mourn because you have sinned, you will be comforted.


The second beatitude comes with a promise, "they will be comforted." Who will be comforted? Only those who mourn, meaning with godly sorrow. Yes, only those who mourn with a repentant heart. To the Saviour who came to seek and save the lost, to Him we should flee when we feel overtaken by sin. He alone saves, forgives, and comforts. The imputed righteousness of God to us through Christ Jesus is our confidence and comfort. Yes, our comfort is found in the person of Jesus Christ, not in any human institution or any person. We are comforted by our all-loving God through the Holy Spirit, our comforter, our defender, and our advocate.


There is comfort when we look to the future. In Psalm 56:8, we read that God is keeping a record of our tears. We keep records of our money spent, but God keeps a record of our tears. Our tears are more precious than gold to God. In the book of Revelation, one day, we will enter the fullness of comfort and then on that day, God shall wipe away all our tears. The same God of comfort, comforts us while we are on this earth. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Paul wrote, "Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God." Jesus calls us all to this blessedness of comfort through our mourning for sins. Let us turn away from every evil.


Have you mourned for your sin? Christ is our sufficiency. Come to Him humbly and be approved of God, then divine blessings of peace, joy and comfort will flow.


"Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)


Rev Mathews 

More Lively Hope



  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no in-person Worship Services except for people needed to broadcast the service virtually. Those required to be onsite will be notified.
  • Sunday school training will commence for 4 weeks in the Rectory after worship service (8, 22, 29 August and 12 Sept). 
  • Missions Fair Cookbook to be sold at Missions Fair this year. 
  • Tithes & offerings are electronic - refer to Lively Hope for details. Please indicate if it is for offering, tithe or for a specific person or ministry.


Praise & Thanksgiving

  • Recovery from COVID-19 – Elder Ady Ho, & daughter, Olyvia
  • God’s daily guidance, protection & providence for the past week.


Prayer Requests

  • Healing: Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore) & all others who are unwell.
  • Recovery from surgery.
  • Friends, family and loved ones during the lockdown in South Australia.
  • COVID-19 situation across Australia.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041