Blessed are those who mourn

In Matthew 5:4 we read,

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.

It’s a confusing verse. Happy are the unhappy?

Sometimes the meaning of this passage is reversed. We are taught, “Blessed are the comforted, for they will not have to mourn.” !!!

After intensive study of this verse, I feel more freedom to grieve. In particular, the limitations of our lives (especially death), the world’s sin, and my own sin.

It would be nice to take a Stoic attitude to these issues. Ignore the problems and numb myself with a TV show! (I’m not entirely opposed to this). But often my inner world is in turmoil with all the good that is destroyed by sin and death. Jesus says that we are blessed when we mourn.

I believe this ongoing grief about the state of our hearts, and world, is part of how God purifies us to love him and practice life in the kingdom.