Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Sorrow and mourning are an active response to a pain or hurt. The loss of a loved one brings a lot of sorrow. Regret over a reckless act can cause mourning. A fractured relationship, even if a positive thing, can bring tears. These are negative events that cause us to hurt. Why does Jesus say that I should be glad when I mourn?
This mourning comes after the realization that I am poor in spirit. When I realize that I have nothing on my résumé that recommends me to God, and that the acts of my nothingness have hurt Christ, myself, and others, I can only have sorrow for them. It is this sorrow that produces a deep repentance in my life. Not the repentance that is sad that I was caught, but the repentance that is sad for the effects on Christ and myself.
2 Corinthians 7:9,10 – Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. (10) – For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Therefore, when I am pained with my course of action apart from Christ, I should be glad because I am made aware that God is working in my life. He is not giving up on me. Instead, He is giving me a new heart that I did not have before, one that has a clearer view of right and wrong; one that has a sense of how selfishness has affected my life. True repentance is a gift that God gives to me when he is working in my life.
Acts 5:31 – Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
While we may sorrow over the sources of pain in our lives we may be glad that God sees us as valuable enough to still put divine effort into. Also, we should not let this sorrow drive us from Christ with a sense of shame, for that is not its purpose. Instead, realize that Christ is drawing you to himself. Though we are aware of our damages, sins, and their consequences, Jesus is the source of healing. We can take comfort that God has not given up on us, but, on the contrary, is purposefully putting effort into us. He wants to give us a new heart. In this way it is such sweet sorrow.
Ezekiel 36:26 – I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
There will come a time when there will not be any more hurts, pains, and wounds, self-inflicted or not. Christ will come to take us to His heavenly kingdom. He will acknowledge our situational pains and the pains of our sinfulness. But they will all be in our past, and God himself will heal the wounds and right the wrongs. Then we will be able to live in a world where nothing hurts us, and nothing will cause a reaction of sorrow, not even of sweet sorrow.
Revelation 21:4 – And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Yet for today, enjoy your sweet sorrow.