As I am reading through the book of Matthew, I was particularly stricken by Chapter 5, verses 1-12. Jesus' disciples gather round and Jesus blesses those who mourn, the broken spirits, the persecuted, and the insulted along with the merciful, the pure in heart, the gentle ones, and the peacemakers. Jesus says these people are the light of the world. He goes on to say that our light will glorify our Father who is in heaven.
My prayer is that I can deliver this message so that it can be understood and reflected on so as to ignite a spark to reexamine your faith in God. To have faith means to trust. To trust that there is a God. Not just "a" God but the God. The One True God. It's not lost on me that having faith, or trust, is the highest ask to make of someone. It's easy to love someone. Love is an emotion, a feeling. It happens when we least expect it and when we fall in love, it's almost impossible to stop feeling that way. But trust? Trust is a choice. Trust takes time, trust takes all conditions to be right, and it only happens when our brains tell us it's okay to do so. And trust? It can leave anytime, in the blink of an eye.
The ones Jesus describes in verses 1-12 are people in need, those who are inclined to seek unconditional love and to trust in someone who will protect them. They are those who know they need hope, for whom hope is often all they have, and Jesus is the only one who can offer it. He includes those who are gentle souls, those naturally inclined toward peaceful lives and contentment. Their lights are "a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden." (Matt. Ch.5, v. 14)
When Jesus describes the blessed ones in Matthew Chapter 5, he's referring to all of us. The blessed ones have received a special anointing to disciple and share God's light. The incredible thing is, all of us are the blessed ones that Jesus speaks of. No matter how great life might be, eventually, every single person on this earth will mourn. If you never fall into any other category, mourning is the unfortunate tie that binds us all.
Many of us will endure insults or a broken spirit because someone doesn't see our value. Some want to intentionally break our spirits because that makes us easier to control, manipulate, and reduce our confidence. Jesus shows us that we can still be the person God made us to be and not fall into these traps of the enemy.
As blessed people, all we need to do is accept that that is who we are. To be willing to put our faith in Jesus whose purpose on earth was to be our Savior. For some of us, that might be the most difficult decision we ever make. But this decision is the only one that truly matters in your life. You're already blessed. The next step is to invite Jesus to walk alongside you, to develop a relationship - a friendship - with Jesus. The best way to do that is to get to know Jesus by reading the bible. I don't have all the answers, but I'm willing to have interesting conversations to try to find them.
When we turn to Jesus, every single one of us becomes a new light added to that city on the hill. Imagine how much brighter this world could shine if we got to know Jesus before we need Him? If we become one of the blessed from a place of peace and gentleness, we would live a joyful, hopeful life in God before we have to endure the trouble. We can enjoy our charmed lives and acknowledge the goodness of God's work in us. We can endure troubles and know that God is already on the other side of them.
God wants our final place to be with Him in Heaven, often described as paradise. There is no greater measure of a successful life than walking the golden streets of paradise, living with Jesus forever.
You are blessed. Boldly shine your light. You are worthy.