At first read, this verse sounds like a great contradiction. How can someone who mourns be blessed or happy? Where does the promise of comfort come from? The kingdom of God is an upside-down Kingdom compared to the world’s. Jesus leaves us in the beatitudes not only a set of attitudes to take on but He gives us a sure promise that we can receive when we fully embrace His ways.
At different points in our lives, it is possible to feel overwhelmed by unchangeable circumstances. At the moment, we are trying to make sense of global issues such as the COVID pandemic, Russia-Ukraine conflict, global inflation, food insecurity and climate change, to name a few. At a more personal level, we might be feeling pressed down while waiting for a new turn of events, or the fulfillment of a promise or purpose. Though these circumstances are seemingly out of our control, we rest in the assurance that “God works everything for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:2*). God is sovereign over all, but in all these things He calls us to pray and persevere.
What is the biggest fear you have had to face in life? No matter what season or times we live in, we will all face difficult situations to which we will need courage and strength. It could be a change in jobs, a new venture, a new career, or new relationship. Returning to a new normal after more than a year of being isolated looks like a new territory for many of us.
While exploring a nice neighbourhood last week, I noticed a house with a run-down façade, and big nailed plywood sheets covering the windows. Its garden was fenced and unkept, and of course it was not inhabited. I wasn’t sure if the house was deemed condemned or was being prepared to be torn down. Then I wondered about the fate of this property. Would it be destroyed to build something new or would it be bought by someone to restore it?