“And he opened his mouth and taught them saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:1-12
At the beginning of the sermon on the mount Jesus gives this list of blessings. Blessed are… And yet as we look at this list, we see a lot of things we might not consider to be blessings--Persecution or mourning for example.
God has blessed us in many ways, and He preserves us and upholds us in both the trials and the joys of our lives. Daily living is a blessing from God. The normal ebb and flow of life is a blessing from God. Being able to wake up. Eat. Go to work. School. Enjoy friends and family. Worship. Air. Generate income. Do we count our blessings like we should? Probably not.
We take our health for granted before we get sick.
We take our youth for granted before we get old.
We take our resources for granted until they are gone.
We take other people for granted until we cannot be with them any longer.
We take worship for granted and then, as we experienced last year, for a season we were unable to all be together in one place.
Blessings. We are blessed in so many ways. Spend some time today counting your blessings and giving thanks to the God who gave them. Let us offer to Him our praises for His kindness to us.