• Jason Wade


4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4

I know that 2020 has been a year filled with mourning. It has been a year that has challenged all of us and many of our hearts have truly been stretched beyond the borders of what we would ever have thought, but I know that God has still given us the ability to stand on His promises. The anxiety and depressive state that many have felt over the last 9 months now has set in as a part of a normal lifestyle and we are watching as more students and adults have now experienced death as a reality in their families. We are watching as people are mourning for friends, pets, family members and even social mourning as many have lost a sense of connection in their lives. Mourning brings us the ability to pause and think and reminisce over the love that has now been filled with a void in our lives. We are able to really see now the importance of seeing and talking with people where we took that time for granted for so long. We are struggling to reconnect in a way that our hearts are warmed again as we feel the love of our friends and families. We pray that we continue to see the purpose that God has given to us to carry a LIGHT in the midst of our personal and physical darkness.

On the other side of mourning is the word JOY. I know that we have talked a lot of times about the meaning of joy in our lives, but some times we have to realize that the joy does come through the mourning. It is in the memories and the ability that we have to come together and draw strength from the relationships that we have forgotten from time to time. I know that memories help our heart to grow stronger, but I really wish that we would be able to step into the mourning as a way of spiritual growth. One of the toughest areas of our lives is being able to mourn and draw comfort. The peace that passes all understanding is the ability that we have to find the comfort in the times that we are not just physically struggling

but also spiritually struggling. We are able to truly draw strength from the God of all creation as the COMFORTER to not just us but also to the world. We are able to share with the world the honest struggles that we face and through the power of God's grace and mercy we are able to receive comfort and strength through those times. It is not something that we are needing to face alone, but as we continue to build community, we are able to draw strength for each other in these time of mourning. Wisdom comes from drawing strength in those times of mourning because of the ability we have to fully rely on God.

As we step into the second teaching of the Be Attitudes, we see that Jesus is really trying to reach out to all of who are struggling with the current condition of their heart. The understanding of mourning is not just the idea of physical loss but also under the understading of the pain one is spiritually feeling as they battle the sin that is in their life. The mourners, as Jesus is able to use them, are the ones that are seeking to repent of their sins in hopes of finding freedom through the blood of Christ. So as we look at the teachings of Jesus, they too have a two-fold situation that effects our understanding and application. As mourners to our sinful state, we are seeking the freedom and the comfort of being released from those chains that may bind us on a daily level. We recognize the fact that it is a constant battle that we face, but for most of us we are struggling because we cannot find that comfort alone. We see this side of the lesson as it is referring to repentance and finding comfort from the baggage that we carry daily and on a consistent basis because we have failed to take the time to truly recognize the separation in our lives that sin causes. What a powerful way to help us to see the difference between the spiritual mourning and the physical and the joy that can be found when we are released from those bonds that hold us.

My true prayer for us all today is to find comfort in Jesus. And I don't mean that we are finding a comfort that causes us to be apathetic in our spiritual walk. But a comfort to know that in our state of sinfulness, we have a God that loved us so much that He sent the ultimate grace into our world to save us. God was not just going to sit back and leave us alone to handle the problem. God provided a solution through Christ, but we have to be willing to take the time to deal with the sin that is in our lives. Just because the solution is right in front of us does not mean that we receive freedom and forgiveness vicariously through others. We have to be willing to seek out the things in our lives that cause our souls to mourn and replace it with the JOY that can be found through the power of Jesus. I know that I say that a lot, but the wisdom in Jesus' teaching is the acknowledgment that needs to be professed that we need help and the only way that we can receive that help is to admit that we are

deep in sorrow based on the sin that is in our lives. And we don't just need to profess it... we need to truly be mourning because we recognize the pain we are causing to ourselves and to others. We have to own up to the life of sin that we are living in and reach out to God with a repentant heart. JOY is there, ready and waiting for us in the name of Jesus, but we have to be honest and humble ourselves and realize that state of sin that we live in if we truly want to be free. JOY comes in the mourning and overcoming of the sinful state that we have trapped ourselves in on a daily basis. Do not give the evil of this world that authority over our lives, but let's humble our hearts and get them right with God so that we can experience JOY is a way we have never seen before.

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