Happy are those that mourn; God will comfort them. Mt 5:4 (GNB)
This beatitude follows logically from the first. It is impossible to treat a patient who has never admitted to any symptoms, and one who recognises no need certainly does not come for help (Mt 9:12). But while diagnosis is essential to cure, it is not of itself a cure. It is one thing to see our spiritual poverty before God; it is another to do something about it. A moment's thought about our impatience with people, our tactless statements to relatives or our idle gossip to the ward staff can make us regret bitterly what we have said or done, but it is only a deep sorrow about what we are like in God's sight that can bring the blessing of his comfort. In Romans 7:24 Paul cries: `Wretched man that I am! who will deliver me from this body of death?' This is no mere remorse. He is in mental torment about the state of his own heart. But as he `mourns' he finds God's comfort; `Thanks be to God who does this (delivers me) through our Lord Jesus Christ (v 25). God is the God of all comfort. He alone can and does meet our need at this point.
`It is when a man sees himself in this unutterable hopelessness that the Holy Spirit reveals unto him the Lord Jesus Christ as his perfect satisfaction. He sees in him the perfect provision that God has made and is immediately comforted'
D Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount
Again, the promise of God's comfort, is not only for the here and now of hospital life, it is for the future too. As the Christian `mourns' at the state of the world and the burden of its sin, he is comforted. He looks for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness, when God `will wipe away all tears from their eyes, there will be no more grief, or crying or pain. The old things will have disappeared' (Rev 21:4 GNB).
Lord, grant that I may never be flippant or superficial in my beliefs. Rather give me the joy unspeakable and full of glory that comes from an understanding of the seriousness of my sin and the perfection of your provision for my salvation here and hereafter.
Further reading: Lk 18:10-14. Lk 10:17-20.