April May Hope


“Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”  Matthew 5:4 ESV

Jesus did not always have the best reputation.  He was known for saying controversial things in his days.  The things he said were contentious only because the Pharisees had added so many made-made rules and placed burdens on others that they themselves could not even bear.  When Jesus taught The Sermon on the Mount, he radically put the wisdom of the world on its head.  He revealed what was at the heart of things like murder and adultery.   In the beatitudes he said things like blessed are the poor, the needy and those who are insulted and slandered for Christ’s sake.  One of the paradoxical things that Jesus said was the those who mourned would be happy.  In other words those who were sad would be happy.  Happiness in sorrow comes from the comfort we receive from the Lord.

Saddness is not fun.  If we were given the choice to go to a friend’s birthday party or their funeral, we’d much rather choose to attend their party.  Remarkably God tells us in Ecc 7:1-2 that the day of our death if better than that of our birth and that it is better to go to the house of mourning than to a party.  When we seek the fleeting pleasures of this world like we are going to live forever, we tend to get lost in them and forget the giver of every one of the those gifts and pleasures.  Jesus is to be our souls deepest yearning and our most valued possession.  He alone is the giver of life and His heavenly treasures do not spoil, get taken from us or die.  Therefore, we must be sensitive to mourn over our sinful earthly condition in order to be comforted by His glories.  “The blessing of God’s comfort is reserved exclusively for the contrite of heart.  It is only those who mourn for sin who will have their tears wiped away by the loving hand of Jesus Christ.” (John MacArthur) When we are emptied of ourselves and repentant over sin we are poor in spirit and blessed to embrace our heavenly treasure above all else.

As we find ourselves in April we can look back at winter and remember the cold nights and appreciate more of the warmth of the sun that Spring brings.  Yet we have not come to it’s fullness as Summer still lays beyond the horizon of May.  Spring reminds us of the new life and beauty that comes out of the storms of winter, and the approaching of summer.   “The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in Spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)  May we be sadden by sin that we’d find solace in Christ, be assured by His grace, and look forward to heaven with expectant hope.

Loving Father, saving Christ, and indwelling Spirit, thou are a well-spring of comfort for the broken.  Thank you that you care so deeply for us that you are willing to inflict us with sorrows that lead us into your strong arms of refuge.  Jesus our beloved be ever nigh.  Spirit of the Living God, gift us with a greater love for the Father.  In our frailty and weakness may we hide under the shadow of your magnificent wings.  In Jesus name.