One of the things that faith does is that it turns things upside down. Or maybe that’s not the right way to look at it. Faith turns things right side up. For instance, look at today’s reading, the Beatitudes, in Matthew 5: 1-10:
1 When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
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 receive 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 for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
We are told today in this beloved passage that those that are poor in spirit, meek, hunger and thirst for righteousness, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers, and those persecuted, they will be blessed. This is from the NRSV translation, some translations translate this passage as happy.
So, we will be blessed, or even happy, when all these things happen to us or when we do these things? That just doesn’t sound right.
Surely we will be blessed, or happy, when we have all that we want. We will be blessed, or happy, when we have no troubles, when all is well, when all is easy.
There is no way that we can be, or should be, blessed or happy when we have trials, troubles, or tests. But yet Jesus says that we are.
Perhaps when we face these things, we find out that when we have Jesus, we have all that we need. With Jesus, nothing else truly matters. Through Him, we actually find that we are happy and blessed, no matter our circumstance, because if we have Him, we have all that we need.
And likewise, when we face a trial that we can’t accomplish, but for Jesus, we find that through Him, we are able to do more than we could ever think possible.
So, in this world, there is no way that we would consider ourselves happy or blessed if we find ourselves persecuted. But through Jesus, we know that there is something bigger and better than what we face here, and all will be well.
In these things, we find our very purpose and place in Jesus. And that is the very definition of blessedness. To find yourself in Jesus.
Today, faith turns things right side up. Today, may we find our life and our faith in Jesus!