“Blessed are those who mourn.” Matthew 5:4
Spiritual mourning follows naturally from becoming poor in spirit. Swinging on the first ring of being poor in spirit will lead you to this blessed mourning. When you see you do not have what it takes, you will mourn over your sins, and you will mourn over your lack of righteousness.
A.W. Pink says, “The mourning for which Christ promises Divine comfort is a sorrow over our sins with a godly sorrow.” This godly sorrow “produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret” (2 Cor. 7:10).
Spiritual mourning is a matter of the heart
King Saul led his army into battle and then took plunder for himself and his men. He cheated, deceived, and stole, and then he lied to cover it up. But later the prophet Samuel confronted him with the truth, and Saul had nowhere to hide.
Saul confessed, but then added, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people” (1 Samuel 15:30). He appeared sorry, but the truth is that he would have continued what he was doing, if he could. But his focus has shifted to limiting the damage. There was no change of heart.
Spiritual mourning is the key to tackling habitual sins
A true Christian does not live in the cycle of sinning, saying sorry to God, and then repeating the same behavior. God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance, not to presumption. A presumptuous person is content to sin and assume forgiveness, but he or she does not truly mourn, and does not change.
Spiritual mourning is infused with hope
Judas grieved over his sin in betraying Jesus, but his grief led him to despair, not hope. Satan brings you to despair of self, but never to hope in Christ. The Holy Spirit brings you to despair in self—“Wretched man that I am!” (Rom. 7:24), and hope in Christ—“Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).
What’s the difference between spiritual mourning and presumption?