The coffin enters the church and once again you hear those familiar words being recited – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” It may surprise you to now discover that actually, these words are not about mourning over the death of a loved one, but rather are about mourning over sin!
Such words can engender two extreme reactions amongst God’s believing people caricatured by:-
He takes these words literally and is perpetually sorrowful and morose, his favourite verse being the description of Jesus found in Isaiah 53 v 3!
He reacts against these words by going to the opposite extreme of always being bubbly and joyful; always jovial and laughing with a permanent grin from ear to ear. His favourite Bible verse to match his sunny disposition is Philippians 4 v 4!
If these two polar opposites are to be avoided, then what is involved in mourning over sin? Such mourning needs to cover two specific areas:-
1 – Our Sinful Self.
So often we fail to mourn over our own personal sin because it is trivialised and we anaesthetise ourselves from the “sinfulness of sin!” And because our lives are so busy and hectic, there is little time for reflection and personal examination regarding the sins of the day.
For a good Biblical example of mourning over the sinful self, check out the story of King David & Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12 & 13 & Psalm 51) and see how we need to confront our sinful self (Romans 7 v 24) and experience “godly grief” (J.Stott.)
2 – Our Sinful Society.
So often we retreat into our churches and condemn the sins of society from a safe distance. Instead we need to identify with and mourn over the sins of our world and our society (Psalm 119 v 36.)
For a good Biblical example of mourning over sinful society, check out the story of Nehemiah & Ezra and see how we need to confront our sinful society and experience “godly grief.”
Challenge – Will you mourn over your own sins, as well as those of others?
If you do then you will be comforted in the three following ways:-
A – Restoration.
Your confession of personal sin will lead to forgiveness and restoration (1 John 1 v 9) as God on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus on the cross will wipe the slate clean. How comforting is that?
B – Restraint.
As you ask God to have mercy on a sinful world, he may well prompt you to practically respond with a view to holding back the tide of sin and evil and making a difference (Matthew 5 v 13 & 14.) How comforting is that?
C – Reward.
As you look to the future and the fulfilment of the “blessed hope” you know that there is a day coming when Christ will return and triumph over sin, and mourning will no longer be required, because our ultimate comfort will be complete (Revelation 21 v 4.) How comforting will that be?
Theme: “Mourning has broken!”
Reading: Psalm 51 v 1 – 12
Preacher: Chris Hughes Led by: Chris Hughes
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