When we think of blessings, we think of things we’re given now. It might be our family, friends, a relationship, recovery, a financial gift – or just a feeling of everything working out and falling into place. The reality for most of us, is that a lot of our blessings are unseen. We experience pain, suffering, loss, illness, poverty, persecution and challenging times. We can think ‘Where’s the blessing in that?’ When we look at the Sermon on the Mount (which you can read in Matthew 5-7), we read the Beatitudes. This is a whole list of people who are blessed. These aren’t the usual kind of blessings. They show the upside down nature of God’s kingdom. It’s the people who are humble, at the end of their rope, facing persecution and under trial who are called blessed, not the successful, famous and rich. These blessings aren’t material things, or even about other people. They’re about us and God. Here’s just couple: ‘You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule’ (Matthew 5:3 MSG); ‘You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom’ (v.10 NIV). We’re blessed, even when we least feel it, because we have God close to us. The Bible says: ‘Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.’ It’s possible for us to feel blessed in the messy, tricky, everyday life because we know we’ve been given the incredible gift of eternal life.
Write a list of all your blessings. If you’re finding it hard to think of any because life is hard, read through the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 and see how blessed you are.
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