Comfort Comes When Repentance Comes
by Curt Klingeman
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Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted (KJV).
Mourning connects with repentance as it works in concert with conviction. While often identified with grief as the result of a loss, it also can be known as godly sorrow as the result of an awakening. That awakening is the product of the Holy Spirit convicting people of sin, righteousness, and judgment (see John 16:7-11). With conviction comes an awareness of the separation between God and the individual. Consequently, sorrow grips the heart and soul of those who receive that conviction, which in turn leads to a change in the way they think about sin, the righteousness of God and the Judgment to come. With their eyes thus opened, they are able to turn form darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they are able to receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among those sanctified by faith that is in Christ Jesus (see Act 26:12-18).
Comfort comes when repentance comes. While tears often accompany godly sorrow, they in of themselves are not necessary a sign of repentance. Any hypocrite can produce tears in order to appear sorrowful. There may be some legitimate grieving, but that does not mean there has been a change of heart or change in the way a person thinks. We find an example of sorrow leading to repentance with the Church at Corinth. They had allowed sin to enter into the camp, and as a result, Paul wrote concerning this issue in 1Corinthians 5-6. In his second letter to the Corinthians, we find that repentance took place as a result.
2Corinthians 7:8-11 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter (KJV).
Without repentance, none will ever experience the complete comfort of the Holy Spirit while on the earth. Nor will they experience the Ultimate Comfort when God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:4, KJV [see also Revelation 7:17]). Mourning is also attached to humility. As we find in James 4:6-10,“God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up” (KJV).
There comes a time when we need to put away merriment, so we can properly grieve. Some seek constant pleasure to avoid the suffering attached to sorrow. They use laughter to inoculate themselves from weeping; but without weeping, there can be no real healing. Weeping is a spiritual and emotional cleaning process that also flows into the physical realm. Tears literally remove poisons from the body caused by heaviness. That is why when people have a “good cry,” they feel better mentally and physically. When we allow the healing process to take place, we find that mourning turns to dancing. This is especially true when repentance is involved. There comes a time when we have to face the reality of where we are in life. At times, we may need to properly mourn for a loss, instead of stuffing the pain. To move on in such instances, one must mourn first. We may find we have sin in our life and need repentance. Often, tears accompany the restoration process the Lord takes us through as we genuinely sorrow. However, He also turns them into tears of joy and laughter. Psalm 30:10-12 “Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper. Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: Thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever (KJV).
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