This Day In History: 0000-02-15

February 15 – Matthew 5: 3-10 

God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. 

The Kingdom of God doesn’t operate under the same rules as our world, does it? As we study the Bible and get to know the one true God, so much about who He is becomes puzzling to us. We’re expecting the things we’ve become conditioned to expect through our experiences here on earth, and His ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts! I think that’s why Jesus was such a surprise to the Jewish people who had been waiting so long for their Messiah. The things He said and the things He did, just weren’t the things people had come to expect from the promised Christ. 

Even today, as we read through each of the four Gospels, we find Jesus is just baffling!  

And yet, as God opens our eyes to His ways, as He softens our hearts to His Word, and as we begin to put our faith in Him, our understanding deepens and He begins to make some sense. 

We begin to recognize that the things in this world that bring us pain or sorrow are so often the very things that help us rightly understand our need for God. Without the suffering it would be far too easy to go on living in sin, doomed to an eternity of damnation, and never be drawn into the saving grace of Jesus Christ. God’s inclusion of pain in His curse of the fallen world is perhaps His greatest mercy!  

So let’s remember the words of our Lord and Savior today, and praise Him for our poverties, as they point out our need for Him. Let’s relish our opportunities to be comforted in His arms as we mourn. May we appreciate the moments that humble us, recognizing the rich inheritance they bring. Let us thank Him for the assurance that He will set all things right as we encounter the injustices of this world which stir in us a craving for His perfect justice. 

Heavenly Father, help us to be merciful as we continue to live in the debt of Your unmatched mercy to us. Purify our hearts as we seek You so that we can truly see and understand. Keep our hands busy in the pursuit of peace, for we are Your children. As we spend our lives working for the glory of Your eternal Kingdom, God, there will be suffering and persecution. Keep our eyes focused, not on the pain, Lord, but on the reward. Teach us to number our days so that we will keep everything here in perspective. Thank-you for being so far above us, yet loving us so much that you came down to us and made a way to You. We love you so much! In Jesus’s Name, amen.