Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
In the following verse, we can see the interconnected relationship between meekness, comforting, mourning, and the brokenhearted, which are addressed in the first three statements of blessing in the Sermon on the Mount. Repentance, brokenness over sin, mourning, and being comforted are all experienced by those who enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
The eight statements of blessing at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount describe a way of life for Christians. When we intentionally try to apply them to our lives with the help of the Holy Spirit, the positive changes that result will bring glory to God. The blessings that God gives will make us trees of righteousness in His kingdom.
Isaiah 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
COMFORTED — The Greek word parakaléō is composed of 2 Greek words, which mean: pará (3844) – to the side of, and kaléō (2564) – to call. To aid, help, comfort, encourage. Comforted is generally translated in the New Testament as: to comfort, exhort, desire, call for, or beseech. A more specific meaning for comforted is used in Matthew 5:4 and in the next two verses. It shows that both God and people can come up beside a person to call him forth from a former place into a new situation, to give aid, to give help, to encourage, and of course to be a comforting presence. (Adapted from the Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, electronic edition, Spiros Zodhiates, 2000.)
2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 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 ourselves are comforted of God.
1 Thessalonians 3:7 Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: 8 For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
God promises to comfort those who mourn while we are on Earth and when we are in heaven.
Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Isaiah 60:20 Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.
Today, God gives all of His adopted children a spiritual comforter.
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Acts 9:31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
The Holy Spirit comforts us when we read scripture.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Without true repentance, remorse, sorrow, and the willingness to hate the sins that we once loved, we cannot enter into true mourning and we will not find true Godly comfort. True sorrowful mourning is painful. There is profound anguish and suffering in the souls of people who mourn, regardless of whether the mourning is over the loss of something important in our lives or whether the mourning is over the forsaking of the sin that distracted us from our pain. We must be willing to experience this pain, so that we can pass through to the other side where God will lavish us with His comfort and joy.
God’s Comforting is Conditional
God comforts those who mourn. His comfort is given to those with a contrite heart. His comfort is given to those who repent for their sins, mourn over their losses, and who trust upon God to help them reconstruct their lives in Christ.
Human Comforting is given by Brothers and Sisters in Christ
We, as the family of Jesus, also are to give comfort to one another in times of mourning. We are called to stand beside one another and to help keep one another fixed on God during times of death, tribulation, testing, and repentance. We are called to help one another mourn and weep. However, the practice that is commonly seen in America today and in most church organizations, is to “help” those who mourn by distracting them from their mourning. If we help people to avoid grieving and mourning by turning their attention toward worldly pleasures, then we are preventing them from entering into the deep valley of their pain where they will meet the true comforter – the Holy Spirit. If we lead people away from the pain of mourning, then we are also leading them away from God and the blessing of Godly comforting that He promises.
Godly comforting gives us joy, peace, rest, healing, and makes us whole.
Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
The next two studies will examine various ungodly forms of comforting. These false forms of comforting are commonly used to avoid mourning. Those who avoid mourning will also avoid receiving the blessing of true comfort that God wishes to provide for His children.
Help me recall the mourning that I have left undone.
Strengthen my resolve to enter into the deep valley of mourning so that I can receive your comfort.
Lead me through my pain and bring me into your joy, peace, and healing — make me whole.
Grant me the courage to stand beside my brothers and sisters who mourn,
and to not distract them from their pain.
Inspire me to give Godly comfort, which will help those who mourn to depend upon you.