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

Is mourning the same as depression?

Some might consider mourning as depression. Is this the kind of mourning Jesus is talking about?

Depression is not what Jesus is referring to. Depression can be the result of mourning, but mourning is based on losing someone we care for.

The word "mourn" here is being translated from the Greek word πενθέω (pentheō). According to Thayer's lexicon, this means "to grieve" or "to lament" for someone.

Thus when Jesus says, "those who mourn," he is referring to those who have lost someone. They had a spouse, family member, or friend, and lost them. 

This occurs when the spirit of that person leaves the physical body at the time of death.

On the other hand, "blessed" is being translated from the Greek word μακάριος (makarios), which means "happy" according to the lexicon. 

How can a person be mourning and be joyful at the same time?

What is the source of 'mourning'?

The physical body is designed for distress - physical suffering in many forms. But this physical body is not who we are. We are the spirit-person within. We are a spirit-person temporarily living within and falsely identifying with this temporary physical body.

As we put our faith in our physical body, our physical family, and our physical relationships, we are met with distress. This is because each body and each material object, one by one, becomes destroyed or we otherwise become separated from them.

Mourning is different. As we lose our family members or the relationships of this world, we are left mourning for their loss. We are left with an emptiness. This is a natural feeling because we were designed for relationships.

Mourning comes from becoming attached to another physical form of this world. When that physical form dies, we are let down. (Every physical body dies, and the soul or spirit-person leaves.)

Mourning can be 'blessed' according to Jesus because it can bring us to a point where we experience an emptiness that allows us to sincerely reach out to God.

How can we be comforted?

The solution that Jesus provides is to realize this world is not our home. This is a temporary place, full of hostility and calamity - but also a place of learning.

This world is intended to teach us that we are empty without our innate relationship with the Supreme Being. We are nothing without God because we were created to be God's loving servant and friend.

And only when we begin to realize that this world is not our home and that we can be comforted if we seek refuge in our relationship with the Supreme Being will we be relieved of the mourning within this physical world.

Should we become humbled with the realization that this world is not our home and we need to return to God, we will be comforted.

This is Jesus' message. 

Jesus was not preaching the importance of family life. He did not preach that we should take comfort in the family of this temporary physical body. While families can certainly help comfort us during times of physical and emotional distress, they are not the key to being comforted spiritually.

Being “comforted” as spoken of here comes only by way of a loving relationship with God. In reality, we do have a home, and we do have a loving family and a loving Father we can turn to and rely upon.

We will find comfort when we put ourselves at the feet of the Supreme Being. We can take refuge in the Supreme Being, and we will find our solution. This is Jesus' message. As we put our love and care upon God, we are comforted:
"'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)