Blessed in Christ

          Have you ever read something in the Scriptures that made you scratch your head? Jesus says in His famed sermon on the mount, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted” (Matthew 5:4). How often have you felt “blessed” while mourning? Isn’t this a paradox?
          Throughout the Scriptures, we see what we would consider negative events lead to positive results. Consider the inspired words of Romans 5:3-4 (tribulation –> perseverance –> hope), Hebrews 12:11 (chastening –> peaceable fruit of righteousness), 2 Corinthians 7:10 (godly sorrow –> repentance leading to salvation), and James 1:2-3 (trials/testing of faith –> patience). In each instance, we start with something negative, but the end result is something positive.
          The mourning under consideration in Matthew 5 does not refer to everyday sorrows, as Paul tells us that “the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). J.W. McGarvey writes in his commentary on Matthew and Mark that this is “those who mourn in reference to sin. ‘They shall be comforted’ because now there is an ample provision made for pardon.”
          “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (Romans 5:8-11)
          We no longer have to mourn over our hopelessness, but “rejoice” that “through (Christ) we have now received the reconciliation.” Truly we are blessed!

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