People have sorrow over many things in this life, and believers are assured of God’s sustaining and comforting grace during those times (2 Cor. 1:3-4). What Jesus was referring to in Matthew 5:4 is godly sorrow, which comes with mourning over your sin. Since no one is always righteous (Ps.13:2,3;Rom.3:10-12), believers still live with the presence and effects of sin in and around us.
Grief over our sins is an essential step towards a victorious life, because only in Christ can we find complete forgiveness, victory and peace. David said “When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long, for day and night Your hand was heavy upon me. My vitality failed as with the dry heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to You, and I did not hide my guilt. I said, ‘I will confess my wrongdoings to the Lord,’ and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.” (Psalm 32:3-5) In the same Psalm, he says, “How blessed is he whose wrongdoing is forgiven, whose sin is covered! How blessed is a person whose guilt the Lord does not take into account, and in whose spirit there is no deceit! (Psalm 32:1,2)
Christians often take our forgiveness in Christ for granted. We know we are forgiven of all our sins and will go to Heaven one day. Our confidence in our forgiveness can lead us to take God’s grace in vain, and continue to do the things we know we shouldn’t do. God calls us to mourn over our sin to the point of repentance, for our sake and His glory. Paul said “For godly sorrow produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly sorrow produces death.” (2 Cor.7:10)
Examine your heart today to see if there is any continual, sinful way in you. Confess it, choose to forsake it, then rejoice and be comforted that you are forgiven, the sin is forgotten, and that God, in His faithfulness, will purify your heart and lead you in the everlasting way!