In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes several declarative statements that are commonly known as the beatitudes.
Perhaps one of the most perplexing beatitudes is found in Matthew 5:4. In this passage, Jesus declares, “blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
The word ‘blessed’ can also be translated to ‘happy.’ Yet how are we to be happy in the midst of mourning? Stu Garrard, former guitarist of the band Delirious?, shares his perspective on what Jesus means when He says blessed are those who mourn.
“I call it the grief of change because there are moments in our lives where we need to grieve; the invitation is to grieve. It’s moments like losing a career, it’s moments like losing a marriage, or becoming empty-nesters, that can be difficult.”
Sometimes our gut reaction is to rebel against our desire to mourn. However, God invites and encourages us to mourn these losses.
“The invitation in this beatitude is that if we let ourselves mourn, comfort will come. If we don’t try to get over it or under it, we have to go through it and be present to it. The invitation in this beatitude is to be present to the places in our lives where there are changes that we didn’t want to have happen.”
Even if we haven’t encountered grief recently, Stu says we can help those who have.
“If grief isn’t in our story, let’s find someone who is grieving and be present with them. We don’t even have to speak, it’s just about being present in people’s pain. We are drawn towards peoples pain because that’s the God story and God in us.”
Grief is a natural part of living in a sinful world. However, as Christians, we know that Jesus Christ has overcome the world and that our grief will not be final.
Stu Garrard is best known as Stu G, the guitarist for the British band Delirious?, who, for nearly two decades, penned many of the bestknown worship songs in modern Christendom. Now, when not touring as guitar player with Michael W. Smith, Stu is writing, recording, speaking and leading worship. Stu and his wife, Karen, live in Franklin, Tennessee.
Key Scripture: Matthew 5:3-10
Featured Songs: Hills & Valleys – Tauren Wells; Impossible Things – Chris Tomlin; For the One – Bethel MusicUnderstanding the beatitudes