Focus verse: Matt. 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
Most of us think of Matthew 5:4 as simply a promise of comfort from God when we mourn the loss of a loved one. And this verse is a great promise for many in our community to lean on because so many have grieved losses recently. While death can cause us great sorrow, Christians understand that physical death has no power over the saved soul. In fact the apostle Paul even tells us that “to live is Christ and die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). So when we lose a brother or sister in Christ, we are greatly comforted knowing that they are experiencing such great joy in the presence of the Lord and that they are released of all the burdens of this world.
While this verse is a great promise, let’s look at it from another perspective. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he describes a sorrow that is produced before someone truly repents of sin. In another letter, Paul had scolded the church at Corinth harshly based on reports of sexual immorality and divisions within the body. His letter was harsh enough that it has been called the “severe letter”. This severe letter convicted the hearts of the church and Paul says in 2 Corinthians 7:9 that “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner…” Paul explains further in verse 10 that “…godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.”
God is grieved by your sin; are you? When you admit your sin to God is there sorrow in your heart? Or do you only feel sorrow because you were caught in sin? Many sins in our life are repeated, often because we don’t honestly grieve over them the first time. Once we grieve over our sin and repent of it, we are then comforted in knowing that there is nothing blocking our relationship with God.
After reading 2 Cor. 7:8-10, go on to read verse 11. Has godly sorrow over your sin led you to ‘prove yourself clear of the matter’? Next Week’s Scripture: Matthew 5:5