He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 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.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 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.

~Matthew 5:3-12

As someone who grew up in church, it seems like I should have a grasp on “popular” passages in the Bible. The Beatitudes is certainly well-known, but for most of my life, I just didn’t get what Jesus meant. Since I’ve been an adult, I’ve heard sermons on this passage, and at the time I thought, “Oh, okay.” But it just wouldn’t stick. I’ve found that there is a great divide between the head and the heart, and only the Holy Spirit can speak truth to our hearts.

Jump to today. Lately, I’ve been battling doubts and feeling attacked so much. Seeing as I’m going on a mission trip in less than two weeks, I guess that shouldn’t surprise me. But having these doubts and finding myself in somewhat of a spiritual dry spell, I’ve been throwing up these little, yet specific, prayers to God. You always hear these stories of people praying for detailed things, God answering, and the person being so amazed by God’s love and sovereignty. That’s what I was going for last night when I threw yet another request His way. When nothing, and I mean nothing, happened in that little situation to show God’s hand in it, I was frustrated with Him.

“Are you real? Are you there? Why don’t you show yourself to me?”

That sent me searching, seeking, questioning yet again. He’s been whispering to me lately that I need to use fewer words and listen more in my prayers. Am I there to throw my list at Him (even though my list consists of good things like prayers for others’ salvation, healing, God to work in certain people’s hearts and lives, etc.) or am I there for more of Him?

So today, with His holiness and awesomeness in my sights, I humbled myself. I admitted that He never had to show Himself to me ever again at all, because that’s His prerogative, but that I wanted Him. My heart was one of praise and humility rather than distractedness and self-absorption.

Then, a little later in the morning, as I was doing laundry (He likes to speak to me when I’m doing humble tasks, it seems) and pondering the question my friend and I had discussed earlier, “Why does it seem that some people are so blessed and others (like us, sometimes) just get skipped over?” We hear people say, “God blessed me with a new car, or healthy children, or physical healing” but when He doesn’t give us those things, we wonder why He chose to bless that other person and not us.

And then, to my humble heart that was seeking Him just for Himself, He spoke. Oh, what refreshment, excitement, and revitalization His voice brings. And how I want to drink it in when I’ve been so thirsty for Him. He reminded me of the Beatitudes. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

What if our idea of a blessing usually turns out to not be a blessing at all? And what if those who are experiencing suffering and pain are really the truly blessed ones? When you are poor in spirit, humble, and meek, thinking little of yourself, do you feel blessed? He says you are! When you are mourning over death or sickness or sin, do you feel blessed? He says you are! How can we be experiencing the blessing of God during thiese times? How can the persecuted and the insulted be the blessed? Because that’s when we are driven to the One who is The Blessing. We are sent running and falling before Almighty God, from whom all blessings flow. It’s when we’re in the fire, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that we SEE Jesus. Because, for once, we cannot rely on ourselves or earthly comfort or material things or even other people. We have nothing left but the I AM.

Then I had the question pop in my head, “But what about Old Testament people? God blessed Abraham and even the nation of Israel and her kings with many material things as a sign of His blessing and love for them. Why can’t we have those kinds of blessings?” But I was reminded of a truth that has helped me understand all the perceived differences between the God of the Old and New Testaments. Things in the OT were very physical and literal, but were only pale shadows of the reality of the spiritual world. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, we now have access, through the veil being torn, to the true, real things of God.

Why would we want the blessings of the old covenant when we have the REAL THING? To us, those physical and material blessings seem like the ones we want, but Jesus says, “Those aren’t the real blessings I have for you!” He has something that far surpasses a bunch of sheep (or cars), or tents (or mansions), or gold (or, well, gold). He has Himself. The people who are “blessed” with those material things, both in the OT and today, so often lose sight of the Blesser, who is Himself the greatest, most satisfying blessing we could ever desire or attain.

Would our lives be radically transformed if we went with few words and a humble heart and bowed at the feet of the Most Holy God each and everyday? What if we went earnestly and honestly seeking Him and not His blessings? Would we see those who mourn as those who are blessed? Would we see the fire and praise Him, knowing that it will bring us more of Him who satisfies and less of the things that don’t? Have we been seeking the wrong blessings all this time and missed the One from whom all blessings flow?


  1. Amy, I thought about this post all throughout the day yesterday. Thank your for your words of wisdom!


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