A previous post laid a foundation for understanding the Beatitudes. Then we considered the first two Beatitudes: spiritual poverty and spiritual hunger. The third, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh” (Luke 6:21b) led to a discussion about grief over the sin around us. While we should be grieved by the sin around us, the more important issue is, do we grieve over our sin?
A love for God demands we grieve over our sin. The Amplified says, “Blessed are you who weep now [over your sins and repent].”
While I don’t want to minimize sinning, the truly important issue is how we respond when we sin. We’ve all seen people fall into one of two categories:
- People who sin and couldn’t care less.
- People who sin and are genuinely grieved and broken over what they’ve done.
The latter is “godly sorrow [that] produces repentance” versus “worldly sorrow [that] produces death” (2 Cor 7:10). This is the grief Jesus said leads to blessing: “You shall laugh.”
We associate laughing with hearing something funny, but in Scripture laughing is most often connected to joy:
- After Isaac was born, Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me” (Gen 21:6). Sarah was describing the joy she felt over the birth of her son.
- Bildad told Job, “[God] will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing” (Job 8:21). Bildad declared God would take away Job’s suffering and replace it with joy.
This reveals another point. In Scripture, laughing – or joy – often follows suffering:
- Sarah’s joy followed the suffering of being unable to have a child.
- Job’s joy followed his terrible trials.
The same is true with the third Beatitude: we will laugh – or have joy – after the suffering of this life. Hence Jesus’ use of the word “shall.”
Only the first Beatitude discusses the present: “Blessed are you poor, For yours IS the kingdom of God.” The kingdom is available now, by faith. The other Beatitudes look to the future:
- “You SHALL be filled.”
- “You SHALL laugh.”
- “Your reward is great IN HEAVEN.”
As long as we live in a sinful, fallen world, we have to keep enduring sin – others and our own – and that means continuing to weep. But we will have joy. The Amplified says, “For you will laugh [when the burden of sin is lifted].” When Christ’s kingdom is fully established all sin and wickedness is done away with. We will know the laughter – and joy – Jesus promised.
Revelation 21:4 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.
We should ask ourselves:
- Do I grieve over my sin?
- Are there any sins that should particularly grieve me?
Share any thoughts in the comments section!
You can listen to the sermon this is drawn from here.