Finding Comfort

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:4-5)

“The teachings of Jesus are all out of proportion when compared to our natural way of looking at things, and they come to us initially with astonishing discomfort. We gradually have to conform our walk and conversation to the precepts of Jesus Christ as the Holy Spirit applies them to our circumstances. The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations–it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.”
-Oswald Chambers

When we consider those who mourn as well as those who are meek, our first thoughts seem to be anything but “blessed.” Most of the time, those who are mourning and those who are deemed meek are not in enviable positions. No one is vying for their spots or for their places on the ladder of life. They seem to invoke both our empathy and sympathy, yet Jesus tells us here that “blessed” is exactly what they are. Hmmm … isn’t that interesting. Could it be that Jesus knows it is most merciful of our loving God to allow us to be at the end of ourselves? When we are at the end of our ropes, reaching the very edge of our need, we are forced to realize our limitations. We end up with nothing left to cling to. We realize that we have foolishly put our trust in something other than Him. Could it be that this is where abundance truly begins–humbled and broken and falling facedown at His feet? Wits end and empty? Blessedness begins with the brokenness of self. When we recognize our needs and bring them to the only One who is able to meet them, Jesus says we are “blessed”–possessing the favor of God. King David says:

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

Indeed, Jesus’ job description while He walked on this earth as prophesized in Isaiah is permeated with comfort and hope:

“The Lord sometimes suffers His people to be driven into a corner that they may experimentally know how necessary He is to them … Jesus can soon remove our sorrow, He delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to Him while He waits to meet us.”
-Charles H. Spurgeon

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. (Isaiah 61:1-3)

Our Lord comforts us in our mourning in order for us to comfort others with the comfort we have received.

“The believer is in spiritual danger if he allows himself to go for any length of time without tasting the love of Christ and savoring the felt comforts of a Savior’s presence. When Christ ceases to fill the heart with satisfaction, our souls will go in silent search of other lovers … By the enjoyment of the love of Christ in the heart of a believer, we mean an experience of the “love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us” (Romans 5:5) … because the Lord has made himself accessible to us in the means of grace, it is our duty and privilege to seek this experience from Him in these means till we are made the joyful partakers of it.”
-John Flavel

It takes no rocket scientist to realize the great need the world has for comforting. A casual glance around our spheres of influence makes it clear that if we are simply willing to take our eyes off ourselves and our own agendas, we will see masses of hurting humanity everywhere. Since the fall of mankind way back in the Garden of Eden, there has been no shortage of pain on this earth. Nobody has more problems than people! “God comforts us not to make us comfortable but to make us comforters.” (John Henry Jowett)

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Meekness is anything but weakness. It is a condition of mind and heart which demonstrates gentleness, not in weakness but in power. It is a balance born in strength of character. It is power under control. It is Jesus on the cross.

Take It to Heart

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

In mercy, God allows things in our lives to drive us back to Him, to get us to return to our point of departure, for our good and His glory.

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