Happy Mourners

Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
-Matthew 5:4 (CEB, NLT)

Have you wept lately?  Have you wept over your sin?  Have you wept over the sins of others?

That is a mark of an authentic Christian.  If you are not mourning over your spiritual bankruptcy then do not claim to be a Christian.  Grieving your hopelessness is the path of Christ that we walk on.

Being grieved over the sin around us is also the way of life for the disciple of Jesus.  The message of Jesus Christ to the world dying in sin has always been, "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand".  This is the message that Christ followers carry into the world today and we carry it and communicate it from broken hearts.

God is not angry at the world, but grieved and broken hearted for a people trapped in sin.  We have the privilege of sharing God's heart of mercy and compassion for the lost.  Our lives are filled with immense joy and sorrow.  Joy over the found and sorrow over the lost.

Anger is not the path to God.  Anger is not the path to righteousness.  But we get very angry at our own sins and the sins of others and are grieved by the hopelessness of lives without God's intervention.

Have you wept over you sinfulness lately?  Mourning yourself is not a bout of self-pity.  Mourning yourself is the cry of your heart for God's salvation to change you.

Imagine that I cry for myself over a failure in my life, saying, "You can do better than that!"  And then I promise myself I will not do that again.  That is not the way of Christ.

Imagine that I weep and testify about how others hurt me or slighted be.  I am entitled to be offended and tell anyone who will listen about my story of aggrievement.  That is not the way of Christ.

Getting stung by unrighteousness in myself or from others and living in the grief of the hopelessness, with my face towards God: that is the way of Christ.

When we seek to cover up our sin, that dressing is our reward.  When we blame or shame we stay the same.  But when we grieve it and leave it to God, we are his children.

God's children rely on God.  God is the only hope for God's children.  God's children look to and receive comfort in their sadness over the hopeless wreck of sin.

Children of God live lives of repentance and rest in Father and are saved.  Children of Father always know that God is good.  We know that Christ has made us his disciples to know his father.

The only way to be saved is to let go of saving myself and turn to God to save me.  The only way to deal with my sin and the sin of others is to turn to God.  The only way of happiness or comfort from sin, poverty of spirit and sheer hopelessness, is God.

The way has been made and it is the way that Christ calls his followers to live in and walk in.  We live our lives in grief and the happiness of the comfort of God.  And we share that life and invite others into that life of comfort and happiness from the grief and hopelessness that sin brings.

We are all beggars showing other beggars where to find the bread.  We are carriers of happiness in sad times.  We carry God's comfort to the grieving.

Mourning and comfort, grieving and being made glad go together.  We are not comforted or made comfortable apart from our mourning.  And we are not made glad or truly happy apart from our grief.

We are neither just happy all the time and never sad, nor are we in permanent gloom mode.  But we are continually having our mourning turned into dancing, through the transformational work of God.  This is the inheritance of the people of God.

We are designed to mourn and grieve when things go wrong, when there is death, dying, hopelessness or rot.  We do not avoid the experience of grieving or mourning.  We do not at all 'glide above it', or, 'steer away from it'.  But believers mourn and grieve often.

Have you wept lately, over your sin or the sins of others?  Have you mourned the lack of righteousness in yourself and the ones around you?  Have you met with God in your grief?

When we are no longer babes in Christ, who only drink milk and need diapers, we walk in the school of Christ, with Christ, as his learners.  And life with others is the class room.  Along the way and even immediately, we will suffer.

There is a saying that says, 'suffering will make you either bitter or better'.  We know that the better way is the way of God, where we look to God in our suffering and God comforts us or makes us glad.

Something bad happens.  A loss, a death, a sin; and you turn to God in what is hopeless and God comforts you.  This is not a 'dashboard Jesus', or, 'I said these affirmations and felt better', sort of thing; but a touch from Father.

I have learned to call it being, 'strangely comforted'.  It does not make sense.  I don't think I am in denial about what just happened.  But I am comforted and even happy, while still sad about the loss.

The highest walk that the road of discipleship leads to is the fellowship in sufferings with Christ that are his.  The shortest verse in the New Testament is one of the most meaningful ones: 'Jesus wept'.  His tears were not out of control, but they also were not just wet eyes.  He burst forth in tears.

Jesus also wept for Jerusalem, about the sinful blindness of missing their day of visitation.  He wept over what he saw coming for Jerusalem.  We would do well to follow Jesus example in mourning for the lost and being sad about the fruits of sin.

The same people called to the mission of spreading the good news about Jesus, all Christians, are a broken hearted people.  We both carry the good news and proclaim it to a lost world and we weep and mourn and live in grief over our sinful state of hopelessness.

We never look down on sinners, ourselves or others.  But love is the name of the game.  The life of Christ is not a life of trying to do the right thing and then feeling ashamed I didn't cut it and then shaming all those out there and in here, who also aren't cutting it.

Shame is when you feel bad and identify yourself as bad.  Shameful Christians feel bad for their sins and try to make others feel bad for theirs.  The shame game is not at all the way of Christ.

The difference is that we do feel bad for our sin and we do feel hopeless about the sinful condition, but we do not identify or take on the identity of being bad.  And while we do realize and sometimes say that what others do is bad, we do not identify them as bad.

But we see people as loved and in need of redemption, salvation and transformation that all comes through God's love in Christ.  In seeing people beginning with our own selves, through love, God's love; we are always vulnerable to being broken hearted over unrighteousness and spiritual poverty or sinfulness.

And we are learning to feel it.  We are learning to experience the sadness in our hearts, from God's heart.  We are living lives where we often weep and mourn and continually turn to God for consolation.  Our lives are full of sadness, as Jesus' life was; but we are also truly happy, like him, because of the love of our Father.