Blessed are those who mourn
"... for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4
While living in this fallen world, no one escapes the pain and sorrows that are part of life. We all have our times of mourning. They may stem from selfish longing for unattainable earthly riches, grief over their loss, the death of a loved one, or the penetrating awareness of the destructiveness of sin. But our own choices determine whether our mourning will produce life or death.
Mourning has a special and eternal purpose for Christians. Selfish sorrow serves as a reminder that the world cannot truly satisfy. It reminds us that only God is the source of unending fulfillment. The sorrow caused by sin and alienation from God functions to reveal our deepest need and reminds us to bring the lost and broken to Him. For when we come to Him in our sorrow empty, transparent, small and weak, He lovingly draws us into His embrace, cleanses us by His blood, and fills us with His life. His very presence brings comfort and healing.
Through mourning we are awakened to God. Having our attention, He asks, "Will you come to me, trust me and give me freedom to transform your pain, disappointment and grief into opportunities to receive all the practical helps and spiritual riches I longs to give you?"
My Lord, above all else I desire your life and likeness. Speak to me about the mourning which opens the door to deeper fellowship and oneness with you. Let my mourning be more over separation from you than over the loss or absence of what I want. Cause me to seek what you seek, mourn what you mourn, and love what you love, my King. For then, kept in intimate fellowship with you, I shall have the richest blessing of all -- forever.
FIRST DAY: Read Matthew 5:4.
1. Review the wonderful implications of the word "blessed". What does it mean? What does it imply for all eternity?
2. Define "mourn". (Complete your answer after you finish the whole lesson.)
3. Take time to study and meditate on the word "comforted." What does it mean? How are you best comforted? (See 2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
4. (Personal) Do you need comfort today? Take time to thank God for who He is to you in your present circumstances: your Shepherd, your Peace, your Strength, you Counselor . Which do you most need Him to be right now? (Remember, He is the great I AM, the One Who has promised to provide for your needs as you trust and follow Him. Phil. 4:19)
SECOND DAY: Read Isaiah 61:1-3. Almost 3000 years ago, Jesus spoke this beautiful message of comfort and hope through Isaiah. Then, two millennia ago, He quoted and applied the same words to Himself. (Luke 4:16-21) Today, by His life in you, you can bring this message to others.
1. Why did God, the Father, send Jesus into the world?
2. Read Rom. 5:8-12. Why did Jesus have to die in order to accomplish the above purpose for you?
3. (Personal) Which of these promises (in Isaiah 61) touches your heart this week? Why?
THIRD DAY: Jesus Christ is your model in every circumstance. Although He never sinned, He did mourn.
1.Study the following verses and explain why He mourned and, where indicated, tell how He was comforted.
John 11:32-35, 41-42 (At the grave of Lazarus.)
Is. 53:3-7, 10-11
Jeremiah 8:18-9:1 (Here you see God expressing Himself through His faithful but suffering prophet.)
2. Seeing the struggles and mourning of Jesus, what insight do you gain? Do you have similar reasons for mourning and sorrow? (Consider John 15:20) How are you helped and encouraged in your circumstances as you look at Jesus Christ, your Lord?
FOURTH DAY. Read Psalm 51.
1. Why was David mourning.
2. What did David do to restore the intimate fellowship he had enjoyed with His Lord?
3. What did David pray and trust that God would accomplish in him?
FIFTH DAY. Mourning, accompanied by faith and love, opens the door to Gods healing, wholeness, freedom and joy. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
1. Look at the following passages and explain how or why the mourning was exchanged for an amazing comfort:
2 Chronicles 7:14
2 Corinthians 7:8-13
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
SIXTH DAY. The comfort of mourning is not only realized in this life, but even more in eternity. Knowing this fact to be true, you can live by faith and hope, for in eternity there will be nothing to mar or diminish the eternal joy we will have in fellowship and communion with our King.
1. From the following verses, explain the condition in this life which leads to such eternal joy and blessing.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (with 2 Cor. 11 :23-28)
2 Tim. 4:6-8
2. (Personal) What special message has God spoken to you through this lesson? Tell (write) Him your response.
The Secret of Abundant Life: Lesson 4
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