Wednesday Word 1.18.2017

Matthew 5: 1-12 – The Beatitudes

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:“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. 7 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 children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

From the outside looking in it seems like some people skate through life without ever facing real trials or tragedies.  Some may say, “What a blessing!”  However rare that kind of life may be, is it really a blessing?  James writes in Chapter 1, “2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  Paul wrote that perseverance leads to character and character leads to hope (Romans 5:3-4). Some of us just have more opportunity to persevere!

In The Beatitudes, my heart hears Jesus saying that the weakness and frailty of being a human being will come to an end.  I hear that the burden of suffering and pain will be lifted.  I believe that if you remain faithful and try to be obedient, then “great is your reward in heaven.”  God’s love and mercy is there for us, no matter what we may be going through on earth.  I hear strains of that old Lynn Anderson tune coming from the past, “I never promised you a rose garden…”

I want to be the person that God intended me to be. That will mean that I will have many lessons to learn.  I will be corrected many times over.  Many times! I am also subject to the physical laws of nature in this old world.  There will be pain and loss.  God makes the difference in my life.  I will not be alone. Jesus has promised to be with us always (Matthew 28:20).  These are the things we must remember when we contemplate Jesus’ teachings…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ,