by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion,
to give unto them a garland for ashes,
the oil of joy for mourning,
the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness
To "mourn" is ... quite inevitable. As I confront God and His holiness, and contemplate the life that I am meant to live, I see myself, my utter helplessness and hopelessness ....But it obviously does not stop there. A man who truly faces himself ... is a man who must of necessity mourn for his sins also ... if I bemoan these things in myself, I am truly mourning.
Yet the Christian does not stop even at that. The man who is truly Christian... mourns also because of the sins of others. He sees that the whole world is in an unhealthy and unhappy condition. He knows that it is all due to sin; and he mourns because of it.
That is why our Lord Himself mourned. ... He saw this horrid, ugly, foul thing called sin which had come into life ... and had upset life and made life unhappy.... That is what is meant by mourning in this spiritual sense in the New Testament.... It is the very antithesis of the spirit and mind and outlook of the world, which, as our Lord puts it, 'laughs now'.... It laughs, and says, 'Don't dwell too much upon these things" The Christian man's attitude is essentially different....
[But] our Lord in these Beatitudes makes a complete statement and it must be taken as such. 'Blessed are they that mourn', He says, "for they shall be comforted." The man who mourns is really happy, says Christ; that is the paradox. In what respect is he happy?... The man who truly mourns because of his sinful state and condition is a man who is going to repent; he is, indeed, actually repenting already.... If we truly mourn, we shall rejoice, we shall be made happy, we shall be comforted.... That is the astounding thing about the Christian life. Your great sorrow leads to joy, and without the sorrow there is no joy.
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, i, pp. 58-60
“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”
Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings
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