As part of this year’s home school curriculum, we are reading through the book of Matthew during our morning family devotional time. Taking a few verses at a time allows us to digest and discuss the words of life that we read. We just finished reading through the first several verses in Chapter 5, where Jesus describes the “beatitudes” at the beginning of His famous “Sermon on the Mount”.
In a previous post, we examined the nature of blessings and the fact that sometimes God can use trials in our life to draw us closer to Him – blessings in disguise. As we read through the beginning of Chapter 5, we noted that Jesus considers the following to be blessed:
- the poor in spirit;
- they that mourn;
- the meek;
- they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness;
- the merciful;
- the pure in heart;
- the peacemakers; and
- they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.
Jesus concludes by saying that we are blessed when men revile (insult) us, and persecute us, and say all manner of evil against us falsely, for His sake. We are even to rejoice, and be exceeding glad!
Wow. Would you consider yourself to be blessed in mourning, meekness, persecution or any of these other conditions?
Why are we blessed in these characteristics or circumstances? Let’s look at what Jesus says in entirety throughout the passage:
- Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
- Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
- Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
- Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
- Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
- Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
- Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (Mat 5:3-12)
I don’t believe the world would consider us to be blessed in these conditions, but in God’s economy we are blessed. We have every blessing we need in Christ Jesus, for:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Eph 1:3)
Therefore, for the Christian, we are blessed in every circumstance. While the world may consider the conditions above as weak or even cursed, God considers them as blessed. Let’s take some time to meditate on the words above, especially the eternal rewards that await us in these conditions. May we prepare our hearts and minds to truly see our circumstances filtered through Heaven’s lens.