“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4).
Human sorrow is mourning over some tragic or disappointing turn of events. At such times believers are assured of God’s sustaining and comforting grace (2 Cor. 1:3-4
). But when Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matt. 5:4
), He was referring to godly sorrow, which is mourning over your sin.
“Mourn” in Matthew 5:4
translates the strongest Greek word used in the New Testament to express grief. It is often used of the passionate lament expressed over the loss of a loved one (e.g., Mark 16:10
). David was expressing that kind of sorrow over his sin when he wrote, “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer” (Ps. 32:3-4
). His grief and despair made him physically ill.
At that point David wasn’t a happy person, but the blessing godly sorrow brings isn’t found in the sorrow itself, but in God’s response to it. As Paul said to the Corinthians, “I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God. . . . For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Cor. 7:9-10
, emphasis added). Godly sorrow is the path to repentance and forgiveness.
After David confessed his sin he proclaimed with great joy, “How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit!” (vv. 1-2). When you understand that your sins are forgiven, you are a happy person!
How do you deal with your sins? Do you deny and try to hide them, or do you mourn over them and confess them (cf. Prov. 28:13
Suggestions for Prayer:
If you have allowed some sin to rob you of your happiness, don’t let it continue a moment longer. Like David, confess your sin and know the joy of forgiveness.
For Further Study:
From Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187,www.crossway.com.