“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 will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will 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 5:2-12
As you consider these beatitudes that Jesus spoke of at the beginning of the sermon on the mount, how blessed are you? On first reading it doesn’t seem like some of these would be a blessing. No one desires to mourn or to face persecution or to be reviled. We are taught that being meek is a weakness not a strength.
But notice the grace of God in the midst of the not so pleasant things of life. In the midst of mourning there is comfort. With persecution comes a promise of the kingdom. With bearing the reviling of others, we are reminded that great is our reward in heaven. We are indeed blessed in so many ways.
Too often we look at life in the wrong manner. In the good as well as the bad we are blessed because our God is faithful. We serve the one who is able to take what is weak and proclaim it as being strong, or what the world says is foolish and say that is true wisdom. God does not view things the way the world does and of that we are eternally grateful.
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die – but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-11