“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” (Matthew 5:3-6, 10).
Have you looked around at your circumstances and wondered why you seem to be lacking God’s blessings? I am quick to say how blessed I am, but sometimes it’s because it is what I am supposed to say. To my husband, I lament how others have such carefree lives. I wonder where they find money to do what they do. Why must our live revolve around so many medical issues?
Those of us with chronic illness put up with a lot. Don’t we deserve more blessings?
Here is the irony: We are blessed. And we may have more blessings than those who are (temporarily) without suffering. How?
Jesus explains in the book of Matthew that blessings come in strange gift wrap. Blessings involve being poor in spirit, meek, in mourning, dissatisfied with the lack of righteousness, and even persecuted. If you are mourning a loss today, you are blessed. . . If you are feeling meek, you are blessed. . . If you are frustrated with how you are treated, you are blessed. . .
We typically define blessings as material gifts–a job, car, and especially health. When we see beyond the world’s definition of blessings, we tend to acknowledge what we consider real blessings–other “good stuff”–physical abilities, families, church, a good doctor.
But this lesson from Jesus flips it all around. If we are counting our blessings they are loneliness, exhaustion, suffering, a lack of contentment with our world’s morality. When we lack these things, we need God. When we admit our dependence on our Father, and cry out to Him, we will inherit the earth, receive mercy, and find an indescribable reward in heaven.
We often want to find purpose in our pain, so take a moment today to count your blessings with this new definition and see how it transforms your perspective.
Prayer: O Father, remind me that blessings are not the joys in life but the moments that draw me closer to You. When I am feeling lonely in spirit and weak in endurance, draw close to me and remind me that it is through these struggles I will find Your true blessings. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
Take a moment and draw a line down the center of a piece of paper. On the left, write a 3-5 blessings you feel God has given you from your perspective before reading this devotional. When you consider the scripture and what it means, write 3-5 blessings, according to Jesus’ definition on the right side. If you adjusted your definition of a blessing to how Jesus taught, how might this effect your daily life and attitude?
I hope you will like this song, “I Need Your Help” with Dietrick Haddon as he sings about how much we need Jesus. The world will always try to tell us what should bring us joy or success, but God tells us something much differently. We need His constant help to remain focused on His desires for us. Hugs. -Lisa