Those Who Mourn

Those Who Mourn

In Habakkuk 2:4, the prophet declared, “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith.” Although this is the first time the principle is stated in these words, it is not new. It is as old as God’s dealings with man. The righteous have always and always will live by faith (Gal. 2:20). Therefore, it is important for us to understand faith, and how to develop a faith approach to living. The Beatitudes can help us because they give us basic information about the person who lives a life of faith. Let’s consider the second, which describes those who mourn (Matt. 5:4).

The one who mourns does so in connection to being poor in spirit. Poor in spirit has to do with the realization that there is nothing to lean upon except God, and mourning has something to do with what we discover about ourselves in contrast to God. God is high and holy, and set apart in righteousness, but we are feeble, lowly, and, most of all, corrupted by sin (Is. 6:1-5; Dan. 4:4-8). Therefore, we mourn our own personal sin, because it is what separates us from God (Is. 59:1-2) and brings about eternal death (Rom. 6:23). What applies to each of us individually is multiplied by billions of us who share in the guilt of that sin before God. Anyone who sees the true condition of himself and the world is forced to experience the mourning.

We see our Lord Jesus Christ demonstrate this characteristic in His life. He understood the serious nature of His mission and the state of the world. He was “a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” It is not His own bodily illness, but the spiritual sickness of the human race; that is, the fruit of their sin that caused Jesus deep concern and mental anguish. The griefs which Jesus bore were not His but ours, and He willingly took them upon Himself. If Jesus was a man of sorrows because of the sins of the world, then how much more should we sorrow who bear the guilt of the sins (Acts 5:31; Eph. 1:7).

The ability to mourn is not an end in itself; it is the beginning of faith. It causes us to honestly face our condition and depend on God by producing an obedient faith response. It causes us to acknowledge the reality of sin, to confess our sins (Jm. 5:16; 1 John 1:9-10), and to repent of our sins (2 Cor. 7:9-10).

-John Garza