Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
We do not usually regard sorrowing people as blessed. Here, however, is a special beatitude for mourners. In particular, Jesus probably meant penitent mourners. In all this world there is nothing so precious before God as tears of contrition; no diamonds or pearls shine with such brilliance in His sight. It was Jesus Himself Who said, “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth”. Truly blessed, therefore, are those who in true penitence grieve over their sins; a holy light shines from heaven upon all such mourners. They are comforted with God’s pardon and peace.
But no doubt the beatitude refers also to those children of God who are in sorrow, from whatever cause. Blessing is never nearer to us than when we are in affliction. If we do not get it, it is because we will not receive it. Some day we shall see that we have gotten our best things from heaven, not in the days of our earthly joy and gladness, but in the times of trial and affliction.
Tears are lenses through which our dim eyes see more deeply into heaven and look more fully upon God’s face than in any other way. Sorrows cleanse our hearts of earthliness and fertilize our lives. The days of pain really do far more for us than the days of rejoicing. We grow best when clouds hang over us, because clouds bear rain, and rain refreshes. Then God’s comfort is such a rich experience that it is well worth while to endure trial, just to enjoy the sweet and precious comfort which God gives in it.
But to receive from our sorrows their possibilities of blessing, we must accept the affliction as a messenger from God, and pray for true comfort, not the mere drying of our tears, but grace to profit by our affliction, and to get from it the peaceable fruit of righteousness.