Thoughts from today's reading of Matthew 5...
- 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
- 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
- 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
- 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
- 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
- 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
- 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
- 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Today I contemplated the beginning of greatest sermon to ever be preached - the Beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount. As I read through the text, I couldn't help but wonder this - if it is the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and the persecuted are blessed, how does one BECOME those things? I mean, if one is going through a difficult season of their lives, I could understand how they could be poor in spirit and mournful. What about the rest of us who are not necessarily going through a tough season of our lives? What about this - are those who participate in rallies and demonstrations or those who are persecuted for their faith overseas the only ones who are blessed?
As I wrestled through these thoughts, I realized that it's not that one is poor in spirit or mournful or the meek, etc. that determines their blessedness. It is actually about the surrendered life to Jesus that does. Those who are meek are blessed because they've surrendered to Jesus the need for approval from this world - because their identity and worth are found in Him and Him alone. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed because they have actually surrendered their right to be right or treated rightly or justly - and have embraced instead Jesus as their righteousness. And in the midst of circumstances that cause us to be poor in spirit or mournful, having surrendered our lives to the only one who could possibly understand us (because He's gone through it all Himself), we are blessed by His invitation to grieve with Him as well as His offering of hope and the joy that will be our strength. And because surrender is the key to such blessed lives, even though we may not be in a season of mourning or being poor in spirit, we too could be blessed, because the call to surrender is for everyone - at any season of life. Surrender to Him today and be blessed! #desiringGod2017