UGH—That heavy feeling inside weighs me down. I long to be comforted.
SELF-CONTROL—I’ll take a double scoop, please.
SATISFACTION—I desire to be filled.
MERCY—Seriously, I so don’t deserve it, but . . .
Are these natural desires even obtainable on a lasting level?
AS A CHRIST-FOLLOWER . . .
I can have all that’s on the above list, and more. The Lord said so, in His own words. Jesus shared the secret to experiencing true fulfillment at the core of our identity in what was perhaps His greatest of all Sermons.
But He also defined the necessary heart conditions to receive, or gain, these blessings. So let’s start there:
1- The moment I choose to confess and mourn over my condition, need, or sin, I will be comforted.
2-The more I give up control of my own life to God, the more He will teach me to walk in true self-control.
*Meekness releases me to inherit (or regain ownership) the “earth” that I’m made of and control of that which was given up when Adam and Eve fell. Titus 2).
3- As I hunger and thirst for the righteousness of Heaven over worldly treasures, I am increasingly satisfied in my core being with an abundance I never dreamed attainable.
4- Am I showing mercy to other people, even those I don’t like? Do I take time to easy someone else’s burden, even when I’m busy? Jesus said the merciful will obtain mercy. He took the time; I’ll take the time.
5- Am I pure in heart? Do I seek purity of mind, or do I love to indulge in unwholesome activities and entertain unwholesome thoughts? Jesus said the pure shall see God–it’s the only way. Is the result worth the sacrifice?
6- (Knowing God is knowing Peace, a foundational concept). As I genuinely choose to be a peacemaker (not peacekeeper), especially a vessel of peace for the voiceless, I receive the great honor of being called a ‘daughter/son of God.’
ONE. I love how Jesus prefaced this teaching with the matter of self-awareness. “Blessed (happy, to be envied) are the poor in spirit.” Do I recognize my spiritual poverty, a “poorness” that can only be overcome and healed by the Life Giver? The moment I humble myself enough to choose Jesus as Lord, “the kingdom of heaven” is mine.
TWO. The other bookend. Facing a reality: sacrificing the favor of man and the riches of the world to seek to live righteously in Christ means I will be persecuted. But again, “the kingdom of heaven” is mine.
GOD ALONE gives True Life that thrives outside of my existence in a temporal world.
Is my earthly life a mere testing ground? Testing my faith? My application of ‘free will’?
“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek*,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall be shown 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 have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Only when my spirit and heart are made right in God
can all the rest of my life-puzzle fall into place.
*Meek: (Greek: Praus) “This difficult-to-translate root (pra-) means more than “meek.”Biblical meekness is not weakness but rather refers to exercising God’s strength under His control – i.e. demonstrating power without undue harshness.” – Strong’s Concordance at BibleHub