“BLESSED ARE THOSE WHO MOURN, FOR THEY SHALL BE COMFORTED…” -JESUS (MATTHEW 5:4)
GOD HAS HEALING FOR ME WHEREVER AND WHEN EVER I HURT.
With triumphant authority, the King of Kings declares His mighty promise to the untold multitudes of broken hearts and lives. “They shall be comforted.” Not “they ‘could’ be comforted” or any other lesser assurance of a promised healing. He confidently guarantees God’s remedy of healing to all who mourn. How great is this glorious gift to a wounded world! How wonderful and mighty must be the guarantor of such a universal promise!
As you read this chapter and contemplate your life in light of this guarantee of healing Christ Himself made to us, understand and believe that this bold and broad declaration is for your life. There is no place we hurt where Christ cannot heal us. There is never a time in our life when this promise is no longer available to us. Every place and time we mourn, the God of all comfort has purposed His healing grace for our life. Knowing this changes the way we live our lives.
Healing means restored wholeness and function. The promise of God’s healing comfort reveals His power to restore wholeness and completeness to our Lives. When Peter explained how a lame man who had never walked was suddenly walking and leaping and praising God, he said, “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” (Acts 3:16) The Greek word used for “perfect soundness” is “holokleria” which means “integrity, complete in every part, whole, having all parts restored completely to the original design.” This man’s life and body were “restored to the original design” by the mighty name of Jesus Christ. He was made complete by the apostle’s faith in me name of Jesus Christ.
A hurting woman that could nor be helped by medicine, science or therapy came to Jesus for help. She said, “If I may but touch His clothes, I shall be whole.” (Mark 5:28; KJV) She fought through a massive crowd of people to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. She was immediately made whole, and Jesus said to her, “Daughter, thy faith has made thee whole, go in peace and be whole of the plague.” (Mark 5:34; KVJ) Her faith in the healing power of Jesus Christ made her whole and complete. Your Faith in God’s promise and power for your life can make you whole and complete also. Believe God has wholeness for your life and receive healing for every place you hurt.
As I ponder my own walk with God, I’ve come to the realization that it was in the most painful seasons and situations where I experienced the greatest measure of God’s power and grace. I found out God was a healing God through the hurt and pain of my life. Some of the greatest graces that the Lord has entrusted to me in ministry are the direct result of enduring a season of mourning only to then experience the comforting healing of an awesome God. As these “mournings” become testimonies of God’s faithfulness, I can now truly praise Him for the entire experience.
Even while we can see the full cycle of pain and mourning turn into praises and testimonies, we must also maintain a determined clarity regarding “mourning.” Absent the active agency of God’s invited presence and power, there can and will be horrific destruction brought into people’s lives by broken heartedness. Left unattended and untreated, the heart that has been wounded can radically affect every part of our life. Mourning that is never comforted is not a blessing. There is no blessedness to a wounded life that does not know and experience the healing work of a loving God.
This must be said, so we can confidently know of the availability of healing comfort to heal human pain. There is a great blessing in knowing that, as we live our lives, we are freed from any and all fear of being hurt and enduring pain. Many live under the onerous burden of potential future sorrows and disappointments. But with this promise of Christ, we can approach life with a joyous fearlessness that removes restrictive fears, doubts, and anxieties. It is truly a blessed state to be unafraid of life because we are assured of God’s comfort when needed. The person living in the truth of this promise is blessed because of the freedom and joy that this promise produces.
In the turbulent, yet triumphant, life of the great biblical character Joseph, this truth is perfectly illustrated. Joseph was the favorite son of the patriarch Jacob. His favored position created frustration, anger, and jealousy in his ten older brothers. Ultimately, their united jealousy spilled over in rage and betrayal. Joseph was sold as a slave and carried down into Egypt. His brothers told their father he was dead and in Egypt he became a slave in the house of Potiphar. The Bible declares that, incredibly and in spite of the bitter betrayal by his own flesh and blood, Joseph prospered as a slave in Potiphar’s house. His faithfulness was rewarded with an elevated position that left him in charge of all of Potiphar’s other slaves and employees. What happens next is almost too much to digest. Joseph is falsely accused of attempting to rape Potiphar’s wife. Immediately, the innocent, godly, and faithful man is sentenced to a long prison term in Pharaoh’s prison. How does he cope emotionally with not one, but two, back-to-back traumatic betrayals? The scriptures tell us that, amazingly, and in spite of plenty of justifiable reasons for turning his back on God and becoming bitterly resentful of his lot in life, Joseph prospers in prison!
God uses Joseph to rescue the very family that broke his heart with betrayal. Joseph is supernaturally exalted to be the prime minister of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. At the very end of his extraordinary life, Joseph calls all of his extended family to him to hear his last words. What he says to them is so powerful, so eternal, that its glorious truth echoes down through the centuries into our ears and hearts: “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.” (Genesis 50:20)
In looking back on his very full life with perfect clarity, Joseph testifies that the very worst and most painful experience of his life had been powerfully transformed into the most important and influential purpose of his life by the power and purpose of God himself. Joseph carried no anger, unforgiveness, or bitterness to his grave. Through all of his mourning, his God had wondrously comforted him so completely that he became the healer and comforter of his own family. His “ministry” was born out of the pain and suffering of his life’s journey. He had reached the point of praising God for all that he had previously endured. These unwanted events came like unexpected storms that rained down the worst that life can bring anyone. Yet he lived to see them become valuable and even necessary components to the plan of God for his life. God had made evil deeds become blessings for good. He had made pain become power, tears become testimonies, and mourning had turned into dancing. Joseph is still preaching his great life-truth to us: God can make the worst of life become the best of life if we just trust in Him.
No conditions are exempted, no sorrow so deep that God’s comforting love can’t reach and heal, no situation so uniquely difficult and traumatic that His promise would retreat from it in fear. Jesus declared with empathetic authority, “They shall be comforted.” We are not asked never to mourn. True spirituality is not measured by being emotionally unfeeling–we have emotions and we experience pain and sorrow. But His great promise is that He is waiting with heaven’s healing anytime and every time we bring our sorrow to Him.
The ability and desire of God to heal the wounded-hearted is also an often promised and repeated theme of the rest of scriptures. The Psalmist says to us, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds lip their wounds.” (Ps.147:3) The God that has created all things by His mighty power is also the God that boldly declares to all of mankind without conditions or exceptions, “I heal the brokenhearted.” May all who are now living in the devastation of a heart that has been broken run into the loving arms of our healing, restoring God.
The Lord Jesus gave us His mission statement in Luke 4:18-19:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.”
Jesus expresses both God’s desire and ability to accomplish healing for the brokenhearted. He said He was anointed for this purpose. There was then, and there is now, an anointing –an empowering specific grace of God–to heal the wounded hearts of hurting people everywhere. Anywhere and anytime this promise is made known and believed in, that healing power is released.
The prophet Isaiah, whom Christ quotes in Luke 4, went on to declare the benefits of God’s healing grace:
“To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Whether or not our mourning is for our sin or because of ten thousand other different ways people experience sorrow, the promise of being divinely comforted is for all. It is universal in its promise and complete in its ability. It is for all and it can heal all that need comfort. This comfort produces unbelievable results. The prophet records that it gives “beauty for ashes” for all who have ever had to endure such painful loss that it felt like a house burnt to ashes. The promise of beauty reveals the supernatural workings of an omnipotent God. In ancient times, this culture as well as many others, had a pronounced way of expressing mourning. Both men and women would cover their face, and sometimes even their head, in ashes. This gesture was a visible revelation of their emotional condition or sorrow. God’s promise to us is that He will change in us what sorrow has accomplished. He will undo the destructive influence of traumatic experiences. “Beauty” is such an extravagant when compared to to “ashes.” It is here that the testimony of the restored hearts becomes a visible demonstration or the greatest grace and goodness of God. Beauty is the antithesis, the exact opposite, of ashes. Only God can make ashes become something beautiful.
Next Isaiah pronounces, “The oil or joy for mourning.” Once again we are invited to experience not just the removal of mourning but that God would turn it into joy! God doesn’t promise to give us exemption from pain or sorrow (being a Christian doesn’t make us immune from the pain and problems of this world) bur His promise to us is that He can make anything we experience turn around for good. He doesn’t create the circumstances that causes our heart to mourn. But He is able to heal us from that sorrow and then make something good come out of it: beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for heaviness. How amazing His grace, how unceasing His mercies.
Repentance and Sorrow
In Christendom there is some credible scholarship that interprets Matt. 5:4 to pertain exclusively to Godly sorrow that produces repentance leading to salvation. (2 Corinthians 7:9) I have absolutely no quarrel with the inclusion of that understanding to the great truth of this promise. But it would be contextually dishonest to claim this sorrowful repentance was the exclusive message Christ intended. He did not say “blessed are they that mourn over their sins until they repent.” He declared, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
In John 5:6, Jesus asks a hurting man, “Wilt though be made whole?” (KJV) A man who had been very sick for 38 years was asked if he was ready for “wholeness.” The power of wholeness was present in the person of Jesus. That same power is present in your life now to make your life whole by healing you every place you hurt. Wholeness is God’s will for every parr of your life. God’s healing power is available for you, right now, through Jesus Christ. Because this is so, we can live our lives passionately, joyfully, and fearlessly knowing that God’s healing grace is available whenever and wherever we are hurting.
Prayer for Wholeness
Father God, I thank You for the promise of Your healing comfort wherever and whenever I need it in my life. I thank You that You’ve called me to live in wholeness. I ask You now to heal me everywhere I’m hurting. I open my heart and life to Your healing love and grace, and I believe You’re bringing wholeness to my life today. Thank You for Your faithfulness. In Jesus name, Amen.