Matthew 5:4 - [Jesus said] "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
Or as the New Testament scholar Jeff Gibbs translates these words of Jesus: "The people who are mourning are blessed because they will be comforted."
The people who are mourning, we know them. We are them because there is no life that has not tasted some bitterness of grief. Hundreds of millions of Christians this week are celebrating the festival called All Saints Day. It's a day in which we pause and give thanks for those people of faith, both in our lives and in the history of the church who paved a foundation for us to walk the journey of faith with Jesus.
All Saints Day, it's an intergenerational event, but it also opens us up to pathways of pain called grief, acknowledging and remembering the heroes of the faith who went before us, on whose shoulders we stand. And when we stand on their tall shoulders, we ourselves can see further down the road. We can see the blessing of comfort coming to us from the eternal future of God. And there we can also see further backward the history of the saints in the Bible and in the church and how they kept the faith and overcame their tests and trials and were blessed in the stresses of their time.
There is healing in remembering. And so, we remember Christ and the cross and standing there with Him before His cross. We are strong against sin that we may not be damned by it. We are strong against death that it may not devour us. We are strong against the devil that he may not keep us captive. If that doesn't help you, another word is added in 1 Peter, the verb "establish," which means that God will root us in a state of blessing for our shattered situations, a state of comfort for our complex predicaments, and a state of hope for the hurt that we are in. Yes, it's undeserved, unmerited, unwarranted, unconditional, and unbreakable. And yes unto us who mourn, but are counted as blessed.
WE PRAY: O Divine Life who rides the ancient skies above, whose signature after raging storms is a simple rainbow, who provides ultimate comfort in the sufferings of Jesus our Savior. Breathe Your Spirit of power to deliver captives today, to bless the people who are mourning. Rescue those in bondage to sin. Heal those afflicted with grief, and send Your angels to accompany all who will die today. In Jesus. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Rev. Dr. John Nunes.
1. Why is honoring the saints who have gone before us an appropriate thing to do?
2. How does God comfort His people when they are mourning?
3. How does the Holy Spirit help establish us in our faith?
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