I have had a few people over the past few weeks say to me, “You are an open book” or “you wear your heart on your sleeve”. My husband even told me last night that he is always wondering what details I am going to tell when talking to a friend. See, the thing is, I tell it like it is. I don’t worry about what people will think about me being honest about my situations. If you ask me how things are going I will be totally honest with you. And, if my husband had it his way, I wouldn’t be so honest.
All this to say, the past year, months, and weeks have been hard. God has truly put a desire in mine and my husband’s hearts to follow Him closer. We have felt the urging to live life differently than we have in the past. This has meant looking at our lives in detail, where we live, where we work, how we do life. We have and are making significant changes in how we do life. But, of course I will be honest…I do not feel always feel blessed. It is hard!
I am thankful, once again, for this Bible Journal, it makes me spend more time than I normally would focusing on one chapter of scripture. Today we are looking at Matthew 5, The Sermon on the Mount. I am going to focus on the first 12 verses which are referred to as the Beatitudes.
Jesus gathered his disciples and began teaching. The disciples at this time were probably weary from all the work they were doing. They were probably a lot like we are, exhausted by the end of the day. Constantly thinking about all they were doing, and wondering if they were doing it right? Were they pleasing god? They might have been overcome with sin and shame or guilt. But, Jesus looked at His followers and this is not what He saw, and that is not what He sees when He looks at us. He sees the blessed sitting among Him.
Here is what Jesus said to His Disciples and the large crowd that gathered. This is from the Message…
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are-no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘careful,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world-your mind and heart-put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete for fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that-count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throu you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens-give a cheer, even!-for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.
God is not surprised by our circumstances. He knew exactly what my husband and I would be facing in these days seeking Him. He knew that we would face times of frustration and persecution. This is why Jesus preached about these subjects in the Sermon on the Mount. He gave His disciples and US promises to cling to in EVERY situation. (read above if you skipped over it:)
We can stand strong under any attack and remain hopeful when everything and everyone else is telling us to give up. God will come through for us. He sees the faithfulness of His people, and He promises a great reward awaiting us in heaven.
The Sermon on the Mount was so timely for me! I have been mentally and physically exhausted by all that we are dealing with. May I remember these Beatitudes and hide them in my heart. Jesus is near and He can turn every poor situation for our good. If you have hard situations in your life, read verses 3-13 and hold on to His promises!!