Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
Spiritual mourning is laden with blessing, and we are to go after it and get as much of it in our lives as we possibly can. The more you know of this mourning, the more joy you will experience in your life.
Six Ways to Mourn Over Your Sins
How does one receive the comfort that comes from spiritual mourning? Here are six ways to mourn in a blessed way:
1. Spiritual mourning names particular sins.
True spiritual mourning begins by naming one or more sins, stating them clearly without excuse and without evasion. Declare them immediately, and admit they are an offense against God. Get used to identifying particular sins when you read the Bible. You will begin to see what God sees, and you will get to know what grieves and offends him. Once you have named the sin as being really in you, you are ready to enter into spiritual mourning.
2. Spiritual mourning involves heartfelt sorrow.
Take a long, hard look at the cost of this sin, and you will enter more deeply into spiritual mourning. First think about other sins into which the sin you are mourning has led you: sins of deception and pretense. Then consider what this sin of yours has cost others. Finally, think about how costly the sin you are mourning was for Jesus, as he bore your transgressions on the cross.
3. Spiritual mourning arises from humility.
To develop heartfelt sorrow toward some attitude or action that has held (and may still hold) a powerful attraction, you must become poor in spirit, recalling your own inadequacy and recalling your sins as the motive for Christ’s sacrifice. Seeing our sins as costly to Jesus takes us back to the first two rings; naming our sins and feeling sorrow for our actions humbles us and gives us momentum to come before our God to confess and to depend on him.
4. Spiritual mourning is infused with hope.
When you mourn your sins, seeing them for what they are, it can be easy for you to despair. Instead remember that when God shines the light on your sins, his great purpose is to lead you to Jesus, the friend of sinners. In him you will find hope. Hope is a signature mark of spiritual mourning, and it arises from faith in Christ and all that he has accomplished through the cross.
5. Spiritual mourning happens at the cross.
True spiritual mourning always leads you to the cross. That is where you forsake these sins and break a pattern of habitual sin. Naming and confessing your sins will lead you into spiritual mourning, but knowing the love of Christ will take you further. And the love of Christ is always found at the foot of the cross.
6. Spiritual mourning will lead you to forsake sins.
Spiritual mourning is the key to breaking sin’s compulsive power. This is why we can speak of spiritual mourning as being a blessing. Do this work of spiritual mourning thoroughly, and you will have strength to overcome the sin that has defeated you, and to forsake it at the cross.
The Power of Spiritual Mourning
When a sin has become habitual or when its repeated pattern has become engrained as an addiction, spiritual mourning will be your key to breaking its compulsive power, and it is for this reason that we can speak of the blessing of spiritual mourning. Do this work of spiritual mourning thoroughly and you will have strength to overcome the sin that has defeated you, and to forsake it at the cross.
For more on the Beatitudes, read the book Momentum: Pursuing God’s Blessings through the Beatitudes or listen to this sermon series on the Beatitudes.