You win a contEsther The rain holds out long enough for you to go outside
with your friends. You have a loving family. You get a good grade on a
school assignment All those things could signal to others that you are
blessed. Our world often associates blessing with being rich,
comfortable, talented, successful, and happy. But is this really what it
means to be blessed?
In Matthew 5:1-12, Jesus teaches something called The Beatitudes, which
means Blessedness. Jesus lists qualities of what it looks like to live a
life of blessing, of following Him in life to the full (John 10:10).
Many of these blessed qualities are surprising: Blessed are the poor in
spirit? Blessed are those who mourn? Blessed are those who are
persecuted? What is Jesus saying?
Especially at that time in history, no one would have thought people who
were weak, sorrowful, or poor could be blessed. Blessing was about strength
and wealth and status. But Jesus reveals that in God’s kingdom, things look
different. His definition of blessing isn’t about how much we have or how
happy our family is or how healthy we are. These are all good things, but
blessing is about what matters most of all: knowing God through Jesus. This
is the good news, that through Jesus’s life, death, and resurrection, we
are rescued from sin and death, we get to live a purposeful life in
restored relationship with God, and we have hope for eternal life with Him.
Being blessed doesn’t mean our circumstances instantly transform to be
better, but God transforms us through the Holy Spirit and helps us realize
God’s blessings are all around us, even in the hard times. Because even on
the hardest days, in all the highs and lows of the craziness of life, we
can be deeply joyful and peaceful as we rest in God’s truth: He loves us
deeply, and nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:35-39). We can
learn to trust Him through all the challenges of life because our hope is
beyond our present. God is always good, and He works even the hardest
things toward His good plan. And all along the way, He helps us grow closer
to Him. Abby Ciona
In Matthew 5:1-12, who does Jesus say are blessed? Which of these lines
do you think is the most surprising? Why?
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the
test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised
to those who love him. James 1:12 (NIV)