It is better to go to a funeral than a feast. For death is the destiny of every person, and the living should take this to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter, because sober reflection is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of merrymaking.
Lines like, all the worlds a stage or life is just a dress rehearsal, in many ways reflect the Christian
life. We live in the moment, but always have our eyes on the future. Knowing that our reward comes
after we a are translated into God’s presence. We have choices to make. It seems odd that we would
choose to mourn, but to some extent that’s what God wants us to do.
Let me explain:
The secular world spends much of their time crowding out the brevity and futility of life. TV, the
internet, cell phones, etc, are all part of it. Then something happens to make them come up short and
face the truth. What they do at those time can effect how they spend eternity.
The believer can be God’s messenger during those times. It is not so much what is said and done in
the first moments that matter, but rather, what is done in the long haul that matters. In the first
moments of a tragedy many come forward and make promises but very few follow through.
Do you mourn for the unsaved? Jesus did (does).
Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were bewildered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often I have longed to gather your
children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have none of it! Look, your house is left to you desolate! For I
tell you, you will not see me from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
I realize that this is not mourning in the strictest sense, but the principle is the same. Jesus was (is)
brokenhearted over His own who are spiritually dead, and we should be too. I am not saying that we
need to spend our time long faced and sad. God wants us to have joy and happiness in this life. The
Psalms remind us all the time to rejoice. It is possible, even necessary, in the Christian life to do both.
The passage in Matthew we call the Beatitudes is very often read with the wrong emphasis. If we
read it in context it is clear to see that it is not about several groups of people. Or people who find
themselves in a situation that is beyond their control, or against their will. It is about people who are in
a place they have chosen to be.
When he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain. After he sat down his disciples came to him. Then he began to teach
them by saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.”
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. Rejoice and be glad because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.”
Allow me a paraphrase of this passage that will help illustrate my point:
Blessed are the poor in spirit, on account of me.
Blessed are those who mourn, on account of me.
Blessed are the meek, on account of me.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, on account of me.
Blessed are the merciful, on account of me.
Blessed are the pure in heart, on account of me.
Blessed are the peacemakers, on account of me.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, on account of me.
These are not different groups of people but rather attributes that should be present in all of us.
They all comes with a promise. These attributes will be in more abundance in some of us then in
others but all believers should have these qualities in them. We must choose to have them, they will
not be thrust upon us.
When we look at the the Beatitudes from this perspective they are a very different thing. It is a
great responsibility and privilege to be, poor in spirit,mourn,meek, merciful, etc, for Jesus sake. It is
what He wants us to do. He realizes what a difficult thing this is, that is why He is careful to point out
in each case, the reward for being this way.
This, like many other things in the Scripture, is something we can possess right now, and also in
greater abundance as we keep our eyes focused on Him, and walk with Him. I challenge you. Take one
of these every day and focus on it, pray about it. Maybe do a word study on it. See how God would
have you apply them to your life, then look forward to the rewards, in this life and the one to come.
To The Glory Of God