Daily Devotional – Tuesday, May 25, 2021
“One day as he saw the crowds gathering, Jesus went up on the mountainside and sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them.
3 “God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
4 God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.” (Matthew 5:1-11, NLT)
When was the last time you really sat down and contemplated the “Beatitudes?” If we are serious about wanting the blessings of God, Jesus really does set a challenging list before us. Some of the items on the list make sense to us, like being merciful, pure in heart and working for peace and justice. Others leave us perplexed such as the benefits of being poor, mourning and humility. But then there are those that we might be tempted to skip over all together such as being persecuted for doing right and having our reputations wrecked for simply following him.
In prosperous countries, Christ-followers often fall into a pattern of wrong thinking about God’s blessings. We’re tempted to see lack due to poverty, grieving due to loss and any form of persecution as evidence of God’s withholding of blessing. This is because we have not recognized the true value of the blessings promised by God and have replaced them with worldly comforts. What does Jesus tell us are the blessings of God? To possess the Kingdom of Heaven, receive God’s comfort, inherit the whole earth, satisfy our thirst for justice, receive mercy, see God and be called children of God.
Nothing on that list promises a plump bank account, perfect health, acclaim or the like. In fact, much of the promised blessings are not for the here and now, but for the hereafter. As impatient children, we may find ourselves disappointed by our need to wait or by the fact that some of these blessings are to be awarded in heaven. But our disappointment only shows up our need to see the whole of life as one eternal journey. Our experience this side of the grave is but the mere ‘blink of an eye’ in God’s timeline.
Our disappointment may also reveal a shallowness in our faith. If we as Christ-followers require immediate perks and rewards for our obedience in order to remain loyal, we really ought to consider if we understand the kind of relationship God desires to have with us at all. He is not an employer trying to keep his work force happy and productive. He is our Father who understands our needs. He is the Creator who has a plan for His creation that He is continuing to unfold. He is our good God of love, in whom we can place our unwavering trust no matter what comes our way. Keep your eyes firmly on Him and your life devoted to serving Him, then rest assured, you will receive God’s blessing!
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!