The Upside Down Life #5 – Blessed Are Those Who Mourn – Part B

by Chris Cavanaugh


These (Beatitudes) are attitudes that prepare us for the actions of the rest of the SOTM.

Attitudes towards God (5:3-5)

  • Poor in spirit—the soul desperate for God
  • Those who mourn—the soul that clings to God in every suffered loss
  • The meek—the soul whose strength waits on a word from God to move
  • Hunger and thirst for Righteousness—the soul that totally buys in to God’s way of life

This is like:

  • First steps in worship –  like tuning up
  • Is 6 –seeing who God is and responding accordingly
  • as we see ourselves in reality

(THE Beatitudes also show us ) Attitudes towards others (5:6-12)

  • Everyday Mourning: Matthew 5:4
  • Remain in the pain


5:1-4 (READ)

1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them, saying:

3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are those who mourn,

for they will be comforted.


(my personal mourning)

Matt 5:4

blessedGr. makares  — A state of being based on our connection to God that says, “It’s OK.” Blessed appropriating the gospel will yield a blessed existence  –ALL MY FOUNTAINS (see Psalm 87:7)

  • Cyprus – the happy isle — rich and completely fertile—all one could want.
  • (Ancient Greek Homer-blessedness of the gods (within themselves)
  • Appropriating the gospel will yield a blessed existence
  • abundant life, (Jn 10:10) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
  • that your joy may be full— Jn 16:24 “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”
  • Full riches-to know Christ, Col 2:2  “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ”
  • like the joy of Jesus— “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
  • (the blessedness of the Godhead before creation)
  • (mourn)


To mourn Gr. pentheó properly, grieve over a death; (figuratively) to grieve over a personal hope (relationship) that dies, i.e. comes to divine closure (“ends“). AND (“mourn over a death”) refers to “manifested grief” (WS, 360) – so severe it takes possession of a person and cannot be hid. (This is the same meaning of 3996 /penthéō throughout antiquity, cf. LS, R. Trench, Synonyms.)

mourn— a noticeable and full-person grieving over a loss

Those who mourn—souls that cling to God in every suffered loss

If we miss that mourning is an experience that God takes us through with victory and purpose than its all just paper psychological platitudes…

If we can’t see the Holy Spirit’s process of sanctification—of growing us up—than mourning is an emotional exercise that we will not have the capacity to complete.

Mourning in the mid-eastern world

Professional mourners – hire wailing women (moirologists)

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 1 Thess 4:13

Life stops — Jews in this time –The routines of life halted—life seemed to stop for mourning. SACKCLOTH

Eating stops

Strong connection between not eating and mourning.

(Amer Tract Society Bib Dictionary) “The food they took was thought unclean, and even themselves were judged impure.”

“Their sacrifices shall be unto them as the bread of mourners: all that eat thereof shall be polluted,” Hosea 9:4

(((I must not feel the pleasure of fresh clothing, I must not feel the joy of conversation, I must not take comfort in food or in drink or in pleasure. )))

(7 Stages of Gr)

(Here is the grief model called “The 7 Stages of Grief”:
7 Stages of Grief…

You will probably react to learning of the loss with numbed disbelief. You may deny the reality of the loss at some level, in order to avoid the pain. Shock provides emotional protection from being overwhelmed all at once. This may last for weeks.

As the shock wears off, it is replaced with the suffering of unbelievable pain. Although excruciating and almost unbearable, it is important that you experience the pain fully, and not hide it, avoid it or escape from it with alcohol or drugs.

You may have guilty feelings or remorse over things you did or didn’t do with your loved one. Life feels chaotic and scary during this phase.

Frustration gives way to anger, and you may lash out and lay unwarranted blame for the death on someone else. Please try to control this, as permanent damage to your relationships may result. This is a time for the release of bottled up emotion.

You may rail against fate, questioning “Why me?” You may also try to bargain in vain with the powers that be for a way out of your despair (“I will never drink again if you just bring him back”)

Just when your friends may think you should be getting on with your life, a long period of sad reflection will likely overtake you. This is a normal stage of grief, so do not be “talked out of it” by well-meaning outsiders. Encouragement from others is not helpful to you during this stage of grieving.

During this time, you finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. You may isolate yourself on purpose, reflect on things you did with your lost one, and focus on memories of the past. You may sense feelings of emptiness or despair.

As you start to adjust to life without your dear one, your life becomes a little calmer and more organized. Your physical symptoms lessen, and your “depression” begins to lift slightly.

As you become more functional, your mind starts working again, and you will find yourself seeking realistic solutions to problems posed by the loss —-practical issues
During this, the last of the seven stages in this grief model, you learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation. Acceptance does not necessarily mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil you have experienced, you can never return to the carefree, untroubled YOU that existed before this tragedy. But you will find a way forward.

7 stages of grief…

You will start to look forward and actually plan things for the future. Eventually, you will be able to think about your lost loved one without pain; sadness, yes, but the wrenching pain will be gone. You will once again anticipate some good times to come, and yes, even find joy again in the experience of living.

Everyday Mourning—- LOSS

Why am I doing this?

Do I have to do this? Is this gonna be on the test? Can’t I just read a book? Or go out to eat or watch TV and forget about it?

Most of us are willing to wait until it comes. And it will come. Jesus taught this as a necessary process of our lives so that we’ll have the right attitude toward God and others.


  • Our loss
  • Others loss because of us—that we caused
  • Others loss apart from us

a. LOSS   — of closeness In relationship

Mourn for what?

With God

Sin –our own, Sin nature, the (sin of the community)…

Sin nature —(A. Pink, Sermon on the Mount, 19). The Christian having a tender conscience toward his sin and condition has, “an ever-deepening discovery of the depravity of his nature, the plague of his heart, the sea of corruption within—ever polluting all that he does—(and it) deeply exercises him”

Sins we commit—-Matt Henry “…..godly sorrow which worketh true repentance, watchfulness, a humble mind, and continual dependence for acceptance on the mercy of God in Christ Jesus, with constant seeking the Holy Spirit, to cleanse away the remaining evil, seems here to be intended. Heaven is the joy of our Lord; a mountain of joy, to which our way is through a vale of tears. Such mourners shall be comforted by their God.”

ISAIAH 6: 1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3And they were calling to one another: Holy Holy…..4At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Continual state of repentance

Remain in the Pain

definition of insanity is avoidance of pain

We are certainly in a common class with the beasts; every action of animal life is concerned with seeking bodily pleasure and avoiding pain.  —Saint Augustine

Xb.  (Everyday) Mourning  Loss we’ve caused others

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Rom 12:3

When we are in a conflict we tend to think of how we feel. We must be empathetic toward those with whom we’ve been in conflict. We must mourn over how our actions and words have made them feel.

Everyday Mourning      LOSS

3. Others –entering into the loss of others

Neh 1:1-4
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 

2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.


Rom 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

“There can be no comfort where there is no grief” –Bruce

I suggest: solitude, quiet, writing prayers, fasting, waiting on God, prayer for your enemies, empathy.

Ecc 3:1

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,


  • Plan to mourn—it will take time so you must be intentional. It is a discipline.
  • Move into the pain
  • Do it with God
  • Look within—your sin. Repentance…
  • Look without—the pain of those around you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.