Thursday, January 30, 2020

Matthew 5:4

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

At a recent Bible study, we were discussing Matthew 5:4, the Beatitude that states "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." I've always puzzled over that Beatitude in particular for the way it's worded. I don't know anyone who is mourning a loss who feels blessed by their grief. Sure, they will be comforted, but that's little consolation when you're heart is breaking. I would venture to say that they would gladly forego the comfort if they didn't have to experience the loss.

As we discussed the meaning of the Beatitude, I was reminded of a previous Bible study I'd enjoyed by James Moore called If All Else Fails, Read The Instructions. In it, Moore explains that the Greek word makarios has been translated as "blessed" in the Beatitudes, but it means much more and is difficult to translate into English. He suggests a better translation in these Scriptures is "close to God" or "near to the heart of God". So, the second Beatitude would read "Close to the heart of God are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

I can relate more to this version and I think others can, too. I shared Moore's translation with the group and that Jesus loves us so much, it breaks His heart when we mourn. One of the women in the group gasped and then slowly shared her story. There was a time in her life when she wanted to die. She was extremely depressed after a series of losses of family members ending with a miscarriage. She was so depressed, she was incapable of doing anything but lay in bed, curled up in a fetal position, praying to die. She didn't want to hurt any longer. She told the group that, besides the grief, the only thing she felt during that time was God's strong, continuous, loving presence. And not just His presence, but she could feel that He was hurting because she hurt.

I pray that you never have to mourn a loss, but, if you do, remember how much God loves you and how much He wants to take your hurt away. Open your heart and mind and you will feel his comforting arms around you.


  1. melissaJanuary 30, 2020 at 10:52 AM

    Grief is such a personal experience and it is such a blessing that there is a God who will comfort and help to heal during that time.

  2. Nancy WisgerhofJanuary 30, 2020 at 4:55 PM

    Absolutely, Melissa. Jesus experienced grief just as we do, so He knows and understands what we're going through.

  3. Heather PedersenJanuary 30, 2020 at 5:07 PM

    Wow! What a powerful way to look at that verse. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Nancy WisgerhofJanuary 30, 2020 at 6:07 PM

    You're welcome, Heather. I am happy that it made an impact on you.

  5. BrenJanuary 31, 2020 at 9:54 AM

    Such a great post! Very comforting. I recently lost my mom and my two senior dogs within months of each other I can relate to the pain of losing those you love most. I really needed to hear this. Thank you for sharing. It was a very powerful spiritual hug.

    1. Nancy WisgerhofJanuary 31, 2020 at 11:17 AM

      I'm so sorry for your losses. Of all of my losses, I think I miss my mom the most. And pets are such a part of the family, their passing can hit us hard, too. I am so thankful that you received a spiritual hug. Sending you a virtual one as well!