Matthew 5:1 – 12 Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach 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 will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Have you ever thought about what it means to be blessed? I have. And to be perfectly honest with you, my idea of being blessed doesn’t always match the above list. To me, being blessed means being happy, being at peace, and having the things that I want. I am blessed to have a family who loves me, and good health, and a roof over my head.

But Jesus painted a different picture of being blessed. Instead of focusing on the blessings, he pointed us to the difficult things we all experience. Though most of us would never look at the hard things in our lives and call them blessings, Jesus knew that it is our challenges which bring about our greatest triumphs. By passing victoriously through the fires of life, we are blessed in a way that would never be possible if the fires had never come.

The broken hearted will know God’s comfort in a way that others may not. The peacemakers, who often live in the midst of stress and conflict, will develop the very characteristics of God – so much so that they will be called His sons and daughters! Those who show mercy when mercy is not deserved will be shown the same mercy by God.

When people make fun of us and gossip about us and slander us because we are different, because we are His, it hurts. But God will make it up to us in a big way! As a matter of fact, when we stand before Him and receive our rewards, when He looks us in the eye and beams with pride and says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” and we look around and see that He has placed us (Us! You and me!) in the line-up with Abraham and Moses and David and Paul and all the other saints who have gone before us . . . I have a feeling we will look back and say, without any hesitation, that it was all worth it.

Now that, my friends, is what I will call “being blessed.”

Dear Father, Thank You for the difficult things in my life which have, ultimately, brought my greatest blessings.


10 Responses to Blessed

  1. October 19, 2008 #

    Love this, R – great insight into God’s upside-down (or right-side up!) blessings.

  2. October 19, 2008 #

    Thanks, TJ. He sure does see things from a different angle, doesn’t He? But His ways are higher than our ways . . .

  3. October 20, 2008 #

    Wonderful post, Renae! Thanks for the fresh idea on this. What an encouragement you have been to me this morning!

  4. October 20, 2008 #

    Thanks, Jeanette! It is a difficult concept for me to understand, especially when I’m going through something hard. But I can look back and know that it is the truth. The hardest circumstances eventually bring the greatest blessings, if we let God have His way.

  5. October 21, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    You are there! The sermon on the Mountain. I just love that part, and can easily dwell there for some time.
    I worked with Mentally retarded and disabled for a good twenty years. Sometimes I had a hard time understanding why. Why God created them in his picture to carry all the suffering and mocking.
    Oh, I’ve seen grown up men cry, and mothers turning away from their babies in shame.
    How comforting to read that they were all taken carre of from beginning;
    Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    That’s just one line that has filled me with peace. Then there are all the others.

    We certainly are blessed, Renae.
    From Felisol

  6. October 21, 2008 #

    Thanks, Felisol. It is a hard truth, isn’t it, that sometimes our greatest blessings flow from our hardest circumstances. You have seen this with the mentally disabled. Yet, God tells us to be as little children, and those with mental deficiencies often stay as little children for their entire lives. Sweet, pure, trusting.

    I have been very blessed, in more ways than I can count, and for that, I am so grateful.

    Blessings, my friend!

  7. October 22, 2008 #

    Just wanted to say this one is making me cry again today…

  8. October 22, 2008 #

    Love you, Jeanette!

  9. October 23, 2008 #

    When people make fun of us and gossip about us and slander us because we are different, because we are His, it hurts. But God will make it up to us in a big way!

    As I read this post the person who popped into myhead was Gov. Sarah Palin. I pray the Lord will graciously carry her and her family through all that lies ahead.


  10. October 23, 2008 #

    I agree, Jean. Thanks for bringing her to mind. We do need to pray for her and her family.

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