We continue learning what God calles spiritual gold.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn. Not as the world mourns over the death of a loved one, or financial or health woes. This is spiritual mourning, grief over the sin in our lives, over the weakness of our nature. It is sorrowing over the sins of the nation which has fallen away from God. It is crying out to God over those who are doomed to spend eternity in hell. Like the tax collector in the section on humility, they cry out to God, “Be merciful to me, for I have sinned. And this nation has sinned.” Daniel cried out on behalf of Israel, as some of the other prophets.
Revelation promises Jesus will wipe away every tear when we go to heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5:5 Blessed are the meek (Psalm 37:11). The poor in spirit are those who are humble before God. Meekness is the other side of the same coin, godly humility in action. Psalm 37 thoroughly defines meekness. The meek trust in the Lord (37:3), delight in the Lord (37:4), commit their way to Him (37:5), and rest in Him, waiting patiently (37:7). Meekness is the quiet strength to stand for God and His ways when the world around you is running away from God. They will be blessed by God and, in the end, inherit the earth (37:22). They live righeously, and will inherit the land forever (37:29).
If your strength is in the Lord and not in your own self-righteousness, you can stand firm in your daily walk, ever growing in Him. Meekness recognizes who we are in Christ, while humility understands who we are not.
The world considers humility and meekness to be weakness, and watches the righteous looking for opportunity to slay them, to degrade them, to accuse them. But the Lord will not leave the righteous in the hand of the wicked, or bring condemnation on them (37:32-33).
Meekness considers the needs of others, lifting them up and encouraging them. It is the great strength of God’s Kingdom. It shows you can rule others, receive authority from Christ to rule. The meek shall inherit the earth.
Matt. 5:6 Blessed are those who continually hunger and thirst for righteousness, seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Their desire is, first of all, to have victory over the sin nature which so easily entangles. They also desire to serve Christ and bring righteousness to the earth, help others who struggle with sin. When someones else has a spiritual victory they rejoice with them, and when someone fails they encourage them to keep persevering. They hunger for God’s righteousness to be manifest on earth, and God will fill them with His Spirit to walk in righteousness.
5:7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. This walks hand in hand with the desire for righteousness. When someone else makes a mistake, the merciful do not go on the attack, but seek restoration for that individual, because tomorrow it may be us who stumbles. The merciful have learned that forgiving others opens wide the windows of heaven for their own forgiveness and cleansing from sin by God. I have learned to be merciful to others because I so desperately need God’s mercy on me. Jesus made it clear, if we do not forgive others then God will not forgive us.
5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart. The beattitudes are progressive, and if we are putting into practice and learning to live the earlier ones, then we are activily purifying our hearts before God. This produces a pure conscience before Him. The pure in heart, because they are merciful and hunger for righteousness, see the good in others, look for the good fruit and encourage it. They will see God in eternity because they have demonstrated their faith as genuine. But they also see God in other believers. This could easily be a lesson in itself.
5:9 Blessed are the peacemaker. They strive to live peacefully with all men, as much as it depends on them without going against the commandments God. Moreover, a peacemaker will try to bring peace between battling factions. On one occasion I went to install a television is a couple’s home, and it turned out that the cable had not been correctly installed in the room where they were putting the TV. They began to argue and fuss with each other over whose fault it was, and I carefully found opportunity to point out it does not matter and was not worth fighting over, trying to be a peacemaker between them. Peacemakers shall be called sons of God, just as Christ, the only begotten Son, came offering a means of peace between God and man.
5:10-12 Blessed are those who suffer persecution and troubles because they choose to stand for Christ and righteousness. Those who are learning to put these be-attitudes into practice will likely, at times, encounter varying degrees of persecution and hatred from the world. Some will accuse us of thinking we are better than they are because we stand for Christ and refuse to partake in their sin. Others will ridicule our faith – I had one person who, when he found out I was a believer, degraded my faith by saying he’d thought I was smarter than that. We may even be harmed or killed because we will not back down from our stand for Christ. Now those who are hassled because they live a sinful lifestyle while proclaiming Christ will not receive the rewards of persecution. But those who are learning to live the life of faith and are persecuted for it, GREAT is your reward in heaven, for even our Lord was so treated.
The beattitudes are spiritual gold, silver, and jewels. Every believer should examine his or her walk by them, to see whether we need to get rid of some hay and stubble and seek more gold from God to build on our foundation of faith.
Prayer: Lord, help me to walk in Your ways and build my faith with spiritual gold. Show me where I have built with mere wood, hay, and stubble rather than with the building material which come through faith in You. In Jesus name. Amen.