December 3, 2020
The world tells us that a life without tears, sorrow, and heartache is a blessed life; but this is not true. In fact, in Matthew 5:4, Jesus says, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
We do all we can to avoid pain. We call on psychologists, self-help coaches, and entertainment to change our conditions. In reality, condition does not dictate character.
Jesus, Himself, was a Man of sorrows. He teaches us how to turn our tears into telescopes. He teaches us to bring our sorrows and heartaches into focus in such a way that we can see beyond the present and into the future. Our tears today can become telescopes to make the future all the brighter and all the more meaningful.
Turning tears into telescopes is a two-step process. We must identify the convicting guilt that causes us to mourn, and we must recognize the grace that comforts us.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives insight into the deceptive power of sin. Man looks on the outward appearance and sees outward sin. But God looks on the heart and at our inner intentions that led to our sin.
Our hearts are “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9) Our hearts are subject to sin’s defilement, which perverts the beautiful things we see and touch.
If we are truly convicted by our guilt, it should lead to consuming grief and sorrow.
There are two kinds of sorrow: godly and worldly. Godly sorrow leads us to repentance, but the sorrow of the world leaves us with remorse.
Adrian Rogers explains, “Remorse without repentance can be a dangerous thing. A person filled with remorse is one who loves his sin and hates himself at the same time. A person who has repented is a person who hates his sin because he loves his Savior. Remorse looks at the sin and its consequences. Repentance looks beyond the sin to Calvary.”
Looking at Calvary, we recognize the grace that comforts us. Mourning is the only way to know the comfort of our dear Lord. The word comfort is not a word filled with sympathy. The word “comfort” translates to mean with strength. When we receive God’s comforting grace, we are receiving His Spirit, which is our strength and our advocate.
Have you experienced guilt for your sins? Have you experienced the consuming grief of an unrepentant life? Have you experienced the comfort of God’s grace?