Mourning is the Way to Happiness

Matthew 5:4 Pull QuoteWe all want to be happy. We want to be free, joyful, peaceful, and thriving.

It follows, then, that we do not want to be sad. We do not want to endure loss, to mourn, to grieve, to be sorrowful, or depressed.

Just glance at the magazine covers at the grocery store checkout lane. What do you see? Smiling faces, laughing couples, thin bodies, exquisite meals, and glamorous homes.

What do you not see? Unhappy people, broken relationships (unless it’s juicy breakup gossip, I suppose), and ordinary meals at mundane homes.

In general, we are all pursuing happiness. And here’s the thing: We should!

But we should know where true joy can be found and apply our lives to discovering and maintaining that joy and peace.

Spoiler alert: True happiness is not found in constant ease, airbrushed appearances, and the abundance of possessions.

Learn more about The End of Me by Kyle Idleman

The Down and Out

Last week, we looked at Jesus’s words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). We discovered that, in Jesus’s upside-down kingdom, the truly blessed ones are those who are poor, lowly, bankrupt, and broken. Those who have nothing to offer, Jesus says, have the most.

In other words, you must be broken to be made whole.

Consider Jesus’s second beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted” (Matthew 5:4).

Remember, these blessings are connected. Jesus’s blessings are for a single group of people who the world has rejected; a multifaceted family of people who seem less than.

So, there’s continuity between the poor in spirit (verse 3) and those who mourn (verse 4). Those who mourn, the down and out, are blessed in this upside-down economy of Jesus, and he promises them comfort.

When Our Dreams Come to an End

We live in a broken world, and in a broken world, there is much to mourn. Loss is everywhere. It’s a part of life.

So who are those who mourn? They are those who have awakened to the reality of life and discovered it to be painful, unjust, and irrevocably broken.

The mourners have come to the end of themselves by suffering loss. “But,” you might say, “I haven’t lost someone or something, and I’m still sad.” But if we are defining loss as only death, we have only gotten a portion of the picture.

We live in a broken world, and in a broken world, there is much to mourn. Loss is everywhere. It’s a part of life.

  • We mourn our circumstances—our failing health, a broken relationship, a lost job or missed promotion or the death of a loved one.
  • We mourn our sin—our inability to do the good that we intend, our rebellion against the laws of God, our preference for the wide, easy path of life.
  • And we mourn the brokenness of our world—the result of our sin and others’ sin, our world is gripped by injustices including poverty and racism, and by natural disasters like hurricanes, tsunamis, and tornados.

    There is indeed much to make us sorrowful. Kyle writes,

    “The end of me often comes when my dreams come to an end. Maybe for you, it was pretty early on when your mom and dad sat you down and introduced you to the word divorce. Maybe it was a message from the person you thought was “the one,” telling you it just wasn’t going to work out. Perhaps it was a phone call telling you there had been an accident and you needed to come to the hospital.” (End of Me, page 42)

    Mourning is the Way to Happiness by City on a Hill Studio

    The list could go on and on, forever. The losses in this life seem endless. If you’re going to live, you’re going to lose. You will come to the end of yourself.

    When our dreams come to an end, when we suffer loss, we hurt. We grieve. We become sad, and not the kind of sad that goes away with a quick laugh or chocolate chip cookie.

    No, when our dreams come to an end, when we enter the real world of pain and loss, we become “those who mourn.”

    But there’s good news.

    Good News for Those who Mourn

    The good news for those who mourn is that they will not do so forever. “Blessed are those who mourn,” Jesus says to all of us who mourn sickness, family breakdown, generational sin, and injustice in the world. “For they will be comforted.”

    Could it be?

    Those who mourn, Jesus seems to be saying, have special access to the Lord’s healing power. Those who mourn get a direct line to the God who is present.

    And much as it is with the poor in spirit, those who mourn have something in common with Christ himself. Jesus, it was said, was a Man of Sorrows.

    • When Jesus saw the brokenness of Jerusalem, “he wept over it” (Luke 19:41).
    • When Lazarus died, Jesus “shuddered with emotion and deeply moved with tenderness and compassion” (John 11:33).
    • After Lazarus died,“he wept” (John 11:35).
    • When he retreated to the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus “began to be sorrowful and troubled” and said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:37-38).

    For now, consider that if you are sad, if you mourn the death of a friend, if you grieve over the brokenness of the world, you are not alone. Among “those who mourn” is Jesus himself.

    So, what are you mourning? Where do you feel the weight of this world’s brokenness, your own circumstances, and your own sin?

    Remember: You are not alone. Jesus is with you. He knows what it feels like to mourn. And this same Jesus calls you blessed.

    If you are deep in mourning and grief, you are in touch with reality and with our Savior.

    The End of Me Bible Study by City on a Hill Studio in Louisville, KY

    Do you long for a deep, authentic relationship with Jesus?

    Here’s a hint: The end of you is the beginning. In this four-week devotional study, return to the first-century hillside with Jesus and the disciples. Sit among the crowd and listen in on Jesus’s words afresh. Receive his invitation to come to the end of yourself and find what you’ve always been searching for. Learn more about The End of Me now!

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