The Beatitudes
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Lesson Two • Hope and Comfort
Pastor Noble Baird

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4

Matthew chapter 5, which is also known as the Sermon on the Mount, is a more widely known passage of Scripture, just like John 3:16 or Jeremiah 29:11. Now, I know that many of us may not be able to rattle off the entire Sermon on the Mount as Pastor Tommy does during our Passion Play; however, I love how throughout this study on the Beatitudes we have the opportunity to take a more in-depth look at what Jesus was teaching us.

1. When you hear the word “comfort,” what comes to mind?

 

In the first four Beatitudes, Jesus is referring to the blessedness that is received to those who are followers of Christ. As we take a deeper look at Matthew 5:4, we read, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” As followers of Christ, one who has confessed and received Jesus into their heart, we know that true comfort comes from our Heavenly Father. Sure, this may seem like the “Sunday School” answer, but it is true! It is helpful to look at some passages where we see the Lord providing comfort in difficult times.

Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 23 is a classic, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Psalm 27:1 adds, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”

Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

2. Which of these passages helps you or what are some passages that you hold onto for comfort?

 

3. Is there someone in your life that you go to when you experience difficult or sorrowful times?

 

Several months ago, I had the privilege to do a funeral for a young man who tragically passed away. I can remember every day leading up to the service, that I was continually asking the Lord to bring comfort to this family, and ultimately just use me to share the love of His Son Jesus. While it was a very difficult service, the opportunity to simply love and comfort this family was truly a privilege. As I look at what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians chapter 1, I am reminded of our call to comfort those in need. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Paul writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”

4. Where are some places you (or others) have searched to try and find comfort?

 

5. Who does Paul teach us is the ultimate source of comfort?

 

Paul continues on in 2 Corinthians 1:8-11, “For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”

It may be a bit odd to say, but I find this passage encouraging. Although we are not sure of the true nature of this “affliction” that Paul experienced while in Asia, we read that it was so bad that it drove him to the point of “despairing” life.

6. Have you ever been through a trial or experience so difficult that you were brought to this point?

 

7. Was your reaction to seek “a temporary fix,” complain, or pray?

 

Yet, amongst this hardship, Paul hung on to hope. It is the hope of Jesus Christ. He even asked the church to pray for him, so that he could push forward and overcome this trial. I know that there have been times in my life that I have experienced these moments of despair. I have been in those trials that I feel almost frozen in my life and truthfully in my walk. It was during those times when I learned that I need to put my pride and my own selfish thoughts aside and reach out. The first is to reach out to the Heavenly Father and realize that He is the true source of hope and comfort. The second is to reach out to my church family and allow them to pray for me and come alongside me during those trials.

8. When was the last time you reached out to your church family for prayer?

 

I love this passage because Paul does such an eloquent job of weaving the Gospel of Christ into this lesson of comfort. He begins by identifying the source of comfort, which is God. Then, he shares how we “gain access” to the source of comfort, through Jesus. Yet, he does not stop there.

As we go further into this discussion and understanding of mourning and comfort, Paul brings to light a new directive for those of us who are followers of Christ. He teaches us that as we experience the comfort of our Heavenly Father, through our faith in Christ, we are called to comfort those who are in need, with the same comfort.

9. What does it mean to share the Gospel of Christ?

 

10. Is there a time in your life that you remember feeling this comfort?

 

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” I hope that the next time you read that passage that you are encouraged and challenged. Encouraged, knowing that as a follower of Christ, you have access to the ultimate source of comfort in your life. Challenged, that you would share the source of that comfort to those around you so that they too might experience the hope of Jesus.



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