Rivers of Tears and Those Who Mourn

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Do you know what Jesus really meant when he said "Blessed are those who mourn?"

Tears and I go together—we always have. Growing up, I cried when I was happy, cried when I was sad, and cried when I didn't even know why I was crying. In third grade I wept through the movies Bambi, Fievel Goes West, and Old Yeller. In high school algebra I fought back tears when faced with mind-numbing quadratic equations.

After reading Jesus' second beatitude, you might think I'd be especially blessed because of all my tears, but that just wouldn't be true:

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Matt. 5:4).

I told you what I cried over, but did you notice what I didn't cry over? I didn't cry over my sin. And I certainly didn't cry over the Church's or the world's sin. I just couldn't relate to Psalm 119:136: My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.

How do I know this is what Jesus means when He says, "Blessed are those who mourn?" Well, His beatitudes aren't random and chaotic—they're all built on the one before. This second beatitude flows out of the first beatitude: being poor in spirit. When you and I realize that we have nothing good to offer God, when we realize how desperately we need a Savior, that will lead us to mourn over our sin. And not only our sin, but others' sin as well.

Have you ever cried over sin? Not because you were dealing with its painful consequences, but because it hurts the heart of God? Because it sent God's innocent, perfect Son to the cross?

Or are your eyes dry and your heart hard and unmoved? Worse yet, do you laugh over sin? "How can we laugh over sin," Kay Arthur asks, "when sin nailed Jesus to the cross?"

When is the last time you cried? More importantly, what made you cry?

Will you begin to pray along with me, "God, break my heart for what breaks Yours"?

When you do, God promises that He will comfort you. In Kay Arthur's words, "The blessedness does not come in the mourning; it comes in the results of mourning—knowing the comfort of [God's] intimacy, the surety of His arms about you, hearing the beat of His heart as He draws you close to His all-sufficient breast." 

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