Sunday, 12th March 2023
Pastor Abraham Liu
Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn,For they shall be comforted.” We know that blessed also means joyful, but then we will start to wonder, why would someone who mourn to also be joyful? During the time when Jesus was preaching, there were many people chose to walk their own way. Even though they were God’s chosen people, the Israelites, they knew all the laws from God, but under prosecutions, they chose to live in their own ways. When we live in hard times, as the people of God, do we cry out to God? Or do we try to resolve everything by ourselves, and pretend that everything is under control?
The Pharisees and the teachers of the law during Jesus’ time knew every teaching from the Bible. They could memorise the Word of God and they even wore the Word of God on them. Furthermore, they didn’t think that they were being prosecuted, they were happy with their lives and they didn’t think there was a need to seek God. When we become Christians for a long time, when we don’t feel there’s a need to seek God, when we pretend that everything is ok, when we stop showing our negative emotions, when we don’t know how to mourn…
Those who mourn means those who feel deeply sorry about their sins. When someone is humble, then they will realise they make mistakes and they will mourn for their transgressions. When someone who cannot repent for their sins then it is not a blessing but a curse. When we don’t see our problems then we will always live in sins.
I Corinthians 5:1 days, “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!” Paul was telling the church that they were in trouble when they didn’t realise there were sins among them.
It’s Good for Us to Mourn for Our Sins
How can the Kingdom of God come upon us? It’s when we realise that we’ve sinned against God, we mourn for our transgressions, and we truely repent. In our repentance, we must change to a new perspective, to hate our sinful behaviour, and to mourn. It’s a blessing when we mourn. Even when we pray and when we worship, it does not necessarily means we have mourned for our sins.
Psalm 32:1-2 says, “ Blessed is he whose transgression isforgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” Only we know if we have really repented. We need to seek this repentance, because it can bring us closer to God, and it can bring down the Kingdom of God.
We Can Have A Good Cry
The word mourning is used when someone close to us is no longer with us. It is a great expression but not often talked about, especially in the older generation. The asian cultural is also very suppressed about our emotions. When we cannot cry, we become anger, or we become numb to our emotions. Even after we’ve believed in Christ, we still cannot let our emotions come out. We learnt to be joyful always and to be strengthened in the Lord. We smile at people but in our hearts we are bleeding. Why are we doing this? This is not God’s teaching. God wants us to share one another’s burdens.
The characters in the Bible were not faking, they said whatever came up in their mind. Job spoke out loud his misery, his negative emotions. Jeremiah talked about all the things that would happen to God’s people, all the troubles and all the hardship. The Book of Psalm was full of negative emotions, all the cries and despairs of the psalmists. Even Jesus talked about His sadness and anger. We are allowed to be emotional, and God can touch our emotions. Because He said the blessed are those who mourned.
We must not hide under our masks, that’s not what we believe in. If we cannot let our true emotions come to light, then we can never receive the Kingdom of God. We thought when we hide our emotions we are glorifying God, but we actually become like the Pharisees. When we come to God, we must pour out our hearts, let God touch us, go into our deepest emotions, and let Him heal us.
II Timothy 3 told us that everything written in the Bible was from God, He already allowed us to have the emotions, and He does not want us to fake our emotions. When we speak out the words of our hearts then we can receive true joy. The Bible taught us to be real, to speak the truth to God, a lot of times we don’t speak out our prayer and we don’t cry out to God. We thought we are good but only when we speak out then we can really receive this true joy, the joy that other people can see.
The Holy Spirit Comes to Wipe Away our Tears
John 14:16-17 says, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
Matthew 28:20 also says, “…I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Christians have a Father we can rely on, He sends the Holy Spirit to be with us always. We can always run to the Father to cry to Him and to seek His protection. The Holy Spirit comes near to us, when we don’t know what to do or when we don’t know how to pray. He will stay with us, He will pray for us, and He will comfort us. Just like a good friend, who cries with us, who doesn’t need to say anything, but just by being with us we can be comforted.
II Corinthians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” We are mourning because it’s the beginning for us to be blessed.
Isaiah 61:1-3 told us that Jesus came to be near to those who mourn, let us put away our masks, because that’s when we can come near to Jesus, come near to the Father, be true to ourselves and to God. He will give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.