What are the criteria you would use to determine if you are blessed? It seems today, especially in this country (USA), the common thoughts might be of oneís job, how much money they have, and oneís health. Perhaps even the amount of stuff one has acquired. Although this could be considered a blessing, an underlying problem with these things is that they are temporary and fleeting.
I think it is time to consider our blessings status as Yeshua declared in Matthew chapter 5 starting in verse 3. Letís read through these 10 verses together and consider what it is to be truly blessed. My hope is that it will change our perspective, away from ourselves, and to the bigger picture Yeshua is trying to give us as to what it means to be blessed.
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
I think the best way to describe poor in spirit is to be humble. Humility is a huge study on its own. Perhaps instead of trying first to be humble, letís start by squelching the pride we recognize in our lives. [Click here to study more on Humility.]
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
I believe this is talking about those who cry out unto God for the unrighteousness they see around them. [Ezekiel 9:4] Have our hearts become hardened to the atrocities taking place around this world?
5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Moses was recorded as being the meekest of all men on the face of the earth. [Numbers 12:3] We can look to his character for an example of meekness. This is a second reference to being humble or lowly.
6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Do we desire righteousness in our dealings with each other? You might think, "Sure, Iím for righteousness." But what might we do if someone makes a mistake in our favor? We might think, "What a blessing!" Could it be a test of our own righteousness?
7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Do we forgive others for their trespasses against us? (Read [Matthew 18:21-35] for parable about forgiveness)
8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
We might come across a few people with pure hearts, but for most of us, the heart is wicked. [Jeremiah 17:9] If we want a pure heart we need to guard against exposure to wickedness from the things we watch and listen to because it will affect our heart. Letís then ask for a clean heart as David did. [Psalms 51:10]
9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Are we quick to cause strife or division? Do we typically side with one party in an argument? Perhaps we need to start by asking for Godís wisdom and looking for opportunities to bring peace to a situation. Especially if itís among our own family.
10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousnessí sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
The persecuted are blessed? Ok, this is starting to go against simple logic here. Yeshua told us that we should expect persecution if we follow Him. [John 15:20] [2 Timothy 3:12] This is where we need to be able to look beyond our current situation with faith and hope to the glory that lies ahead in the kingdom of heaven.
Yes it will be exceedingly hard to remain humble and forgiving when we are persecuted for His sake. May this verse from Isaiah remind us that the creator of all things will dwell with us if we continue to fight the good fight and maintain our faith in Yeshua throughout our time of persecution.
Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
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