Monday, April 06, 2009

Good Mourning

(Enter weekend weary worker)
Co-worker: (obviously a morning person) Good morning!
Weary Worker: yeah I guess, whatever... is the coffee on?

When you hear this greeting, today, think "good mourning". Mourning is rarely thought of as good. (although we use the phrases "good grief" and "Good Friday") John MacArthur sparked me this am with his devotional thoughts surrounding this verse in the beattitudes:

"Blessed are they who mourn for they shall be comforted." Matt 5:4

The fact that God does comfort his weeping, sad, grieving children is very reassuring. It is a truth very clearly communicated in other passages (see Ps 23:4, 119:50; 2 Cor. 1:3-7). God loves to wrap His arms around us and hold us like a parent.

But the truth of the beattitudes is that there is comfort following repentance. When we are broken to the point of grieving over sin, He delights in resting and repairning our spirits. He "comforts us" or "restores us". According to Jesus, He blesses us. Blessedness is a function of completion or wholeness. He puts us back together or brings us back to spiritual health. The healer (Jehovah-Rapha) has brought peace again (Jehovah-Shaloam).

John MacArthur summarized this truth well when he said "When your sins are forgiven, you are a happy person." Grief and mourning over sin comes first, then repentance, then forgiveness and then restoration. The relief that comes from being forgiven is huge! The comfort that comes from being restored to fellowship is even huger... more huge... more better!

Once we have experienced that kind of relief, we then should become ambassadors of healing -- medicine men and women that bind up the wounds of people with forgiveness. (see Isaiah 1:5-6 to see what unforgiveness looks like before God). The world around us is chasing after "life, liberty and happiness". We, who have found it, owe it to others, who have not, to show them that real blessedness -- happiness at their soul level -- comes from Christ and forgiveness of sins.

Spread some salve, bind some wounds,
find spiritual health, get/give forgiveness