Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those that mourn, for they will be comforted.
With the disposition of joy and gladness being one of the dominant themes of the New Testament, there are not many references to mourning. Of one thing we can be sure, mourning is not a fruit of the Spirit. The most important Scripture references to relate to this verse communicate how Jesus, the Messiah, came to comfort those who mourn in Zion (Isaiah 61:1-2, 51:3; Luke 2:25, 4:16-19; Zechariah 1:17). For those who have believed, God has liberated us and turned our mourning into joy. Yet, at the same time we encounter many things in this life that can cause us pain and sorrow; but we have a reason to be happy because God has promised to comfort us. In the midst of pain or grief, all we have to do is to turn to the One Who loves us and He will comfort us and fill our hearts with joy and gladness. In fact, one of the chief descriptions of the Holy Spirit is that He is the Comforter (John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7; Acts 9:31). Jesus has come to heal all of our pain and sorrow, whether it is physical or spiritual, for the Lord God has always been and will continue to be our Healer (Exodus 15:6; Isaiah 53:4).
In the Old Testament, the Greek word used here in this verse often refers to grief in the face of death. In the New Testament, it refers to the disciples’ grief over the death of Jesus (Mark 16:10; Matthew 9:15; John 16:6), and grief over transgressions in the Church (1 Corinthians 5:2; 2 Corinthians 12:21). James, similarly, pleads with those who are not right with God to turn back to God and lament, mourn, and weep over their evil deeds (James 4:9), and Jesus, in no uncertain terms, warns the self reliant and rebellious of their coming judgment that will cause them to mourn and weep (Luke 6:25). Paul also uses another Greek word that is a synonym of the one encountered in this verse to tell the saints not to sorrow over the death of another saint (1 Thessalonians 4:13). He also uses it to describe a godly sorrow that will cause men to repent and turn from their sins (2 Corinthians 7:9-10).
Pastor Mark Spitsbergen