GROWTH AND SUCCESS IN LIFE – Lessons Learned at the Feet of Jesus – Sermon on Mount (Part 3)
Jesus set out in this His first public discourse and teaching how to be happy and successful in life. This is happy in the deepest sense, not just satisfied from a good meal or a winning business or life event but a deep settled, blessed, what one author called superlatively blessed life. This is fullness consistent with our design as God’s people and in a manner pleasing to Him.
To that end, and following from the first beatitude, the poor in spirit are the mourners. These are pilgrims in life who are seeking god, who recognize their own limitations and who, but for the grace of God, they are without hope.
Blessed are those who mourn,for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4.
1. Spiritual Grief. Contextually, this is not mourning or grieving for a loss or life reversal. It is a grieving by those who recognize that they are spiritually bankrupt and who are looking to a hunger and thirst for righteousness (fourth beatitude). This is a person who acknowledges his sin and its consequences and knows that he or she is in need of spiritual forgiveness. This is grieving that is God-centered, not man-centered.
2. Sorrow Which Leads to Comfort. Godly sorrow or grieving turns a person toward God, and God, in turn, grants comfort to those who seek their help from Him. This comfort meets the need of the soul, sometimes relieving the tests of life, other times teaching lessons in the crucible of the test. This is caught in the first of the Heidelberg Catechisms:
What is thy only comfort in life and in death?
That I, with body and soul, both in life and in death, am not my own, but belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ, who with His precious blood has fully satisfied for all my sins, and redeemed me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me, that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must work together for my salvation. Wherefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me heartily willing and ready henceforth to live unto Him.
So we first kneel to our spiritual needs and spiritual poverty, looking to God for comfort and righteousness and salvation, and in such, we are blessed. This is the second amazing beatitude. More to come in weeks ahead. Blessing to you during what is starting out as a challenging 2021.
— John Moore