If you were to name the antithesis of happiness, mourning might be a good choice. When we think of mourning, we think of loss—the loss of dreams, opportunities, or loved ones. But Jesus says, "Blessed are those who mourn" (Matthew 5:4). But it's not just any mourning He's talking about; it's mourning over our sin. It's the natural response to the discovery of our brokenness. That's why mourning follows poverty of spirit in Jesus' superstructure of the beatitudes. When we realize our desperate need for God and see the sin in our lives that has kept us from Him, we will mourn.
Jesus tells us the way to happiness is sadness, and the road to rejoicing is mourning.
But why does mourning over our sin make us happy or blessed? Because when we mourn our sin, we can experience the comfort, joy, and strength of God's forgiveness. When we confess and mourn over our failures and shortcomings, the comfort that Jesus gives is sweeter than words can describe.
It sounds strange, but it's true: Jesus tells us the way to happiness is sadness, and the road to rejoicing is mourning. This is foolishness to the world. Until you come to the cross, you can't see it; you can't comprehend it. The apostle John put it this way, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)—and that is all the reason in the world to be happy.
Prayer: God, help me to see my sin and to mourn it. As I humble myself, I know You will lift me up in Your lovingkindness. Thank You that you promise to forgive me and purify me as I confess my sins to You in humble repentance. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted" (Matthew 5:4).