“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”(Matthew 5:4)
Many of us immediately think of the death of a loved one when we identify things we grieve for, but we also grieve over other losses in life, such as the death of a dream, loss of companionship, betrayal by friends, or chronic health problems. Our deepest sense of loss is of a spiritual nature. We mourn when we feel a sense of personal spiritual bankruptcy, realize our own sinfulness, and see our need to repent.
People today aren’t good at mourning and repenting. We live in a society that promises immediate answers to problems and quick relief from pain. Most of us have come to believe that mourning is somehow sub-human. We’ve concluded that life should always be pleasant, but that’s not the way it works. We live in a fallen world with fallen people. Hurts happen, and quite often they happen to us.
Jesus tells us that genuine comfort occurs only when we are honest about our spiritual condition. When we repent and express our disillusionment to God, we become receptive to His forgiveness. We may begin by demanding to know why the sin happened, but sooner or later we’ll realize that God knows, God cares, and God has a gracious purpose that is far bigger than whatever sin we committed. We stop asking “Why? We put our hands in His hand and we ask “What now? Repentance is taking the first step back towards God’s very best purpose for our lives.