“Gospel mourning is no way inconsistent with holy joy. Though it must be granted that the love of sin and true joy are inconsistent, and that the reign and dominion of sin and true joy are inconsistent, yet it must be confessed that mourning for sin and holy joy are consistent in one and the same heart.” Thomas Brooks
When Jesus pronounced eight happinesses on the way of holiness in Matthew 5, He didn’t just declare it, He explained it. And it certainly needed explanation because it didn’t look like a very happy way of life. That’s why he added a “because” or a “for” to every beatitude. He wanted to further reason with us and persuade us into the way of holiness.
How can you be happy when feeling spiritually bankrupt? Because God gives the kingdom of heaven only to such people.
How can you be happy when you are sad over sin? Because God promises a spiritual comfort that will not only restore but improve your spiritual health.
How can you be happy about meekly giving up your rights? Because God will give you the earth.
How can you be happy when hungering and thirsting? Because this is a God-given and God-satisfied hunger and thirst.
How can internal purity make you happy? Because it allows you to see and savor the most beautiful sight in the universe – God.
How can giving mercy to the undeserving make you happy? Because it assures you that you will receive mercy too.
How can peace-making make you happy? Because despite all the names you’ll be called by people, God calls you His son or daughter.
How can being persecuted make you happy? Here he gives three reasons: it’s for Christ’s sake, it secures a great heavenly reward, and it puts you in the best of company – the previously persecuted prophets.
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)