Back to the Basics: Week 2: Those who Mourn
Matthew 5:4 (NIV)
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
This week’s study ties into what we looked at last week with the poor in spirit. Today we look at those who mourn. Mourning is visible grief that is deeply felt. But not everyone grieves in an outward manner, some people hold onto their grief so that others don’t see how much they are hurting. I firmly believe that depression is an inward form of mourning and grief. Depression for some can be seen by some as an inability to do anything, inability to think clearly. I have lived through this kind of depression twice, and it’s not pretty and it’s completely incapacitating. With this in mind we can definitely assume that those who are poor in spirit are in deep mourning for something or someone. Many of us have lost loved ones, parents, grandparents, or children; but, this can also be intangibles like a job, health, relationships, or freedoms, anything that can be lost or taken away.
The promise here is clear – comfort. Jesus promises these precious, hurting ones comfort beyond what anyone can imagine.
The Greek word used here is ‘parakaleo’ which has a vast variety of meaning from a calling to oneself, to address or speak to, exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, encourage, strengthen by consolation and encouraging. Vines, also lists praying.
From my point of view, this means community involvement in the recovery and comfort of those who mourn. The church has been called to be the ‘hands and feet’ of Jesus/God/the Divine. Comfort is what we do for those who are hurting regardless of why they are living with deep grief. We are not called to judge the person who is grieving, we are not called to make them feel blame for their grief. We are to come alongside, put our arms around the hurting person, pray with them, listen to them, or just be there. I believe that this is the highest calling a believer can be a part of no matter who they may be, anyone can give comfort; even, in the midst of their own hurt.
So, be a comfort to those who are mourning in your life.