This week we have been learning that when we know what Jesus knows, we can be generous in our attitude toward difficult circumstances. Let’s look at some of Jesus’s teachings in Luke’s paraphrase of the Sermon on the Mount.
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20). In this verse Jesus was not talking about material poverty. There is nothing blessed about being financially poor. Matthew 5:3 adds the words “blessed are the poor in spirit.” Blessed are those of you who recognize your spiritual poverty. Do you ever feel as if you are struggling in your Christian life? Do you feel as if you ought to pray more and read the Bible more, and you wish you could be a better Christian? Jesus was saying, “Be happy. Because one day that struggle you have in your Christian life is going to be satisfied. Yours is going to be the kingdom of God.”
“Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied” (Luke 6:21). In this verse Jesus was talking about a spiritual hunger for righteousness. Do you ever wish you lived in a world where justice reigned? Do you wish you were in a world where there were no terrorist attacks and where evil would be overcome by good every time? That’s what Jesus was talking about. Blessed are those who hunger for righteousness, for one day you will be satisfied. One day the tables are going to be turned, and God is going to right all the wrongs of this world.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh” (v. 21). Nothing is more painful than losing a loved one through death or defection. Many of you have suffered the loss of a loved one. Jesus was saying, “Blessed are those of you who weep now, for one day you will laugh when you are reunited with your loved ones in heaven.” When you know what Jesus knows about the future, you can be generous even about loss.
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize you, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man. Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven” (vv. 22-23). Have you ever been ostracized because you want to live for God? Have you been passed over for a promotion because you won’t bend your Christian principles? Is there a division in your family because of your Christian faith? Those kinds of things are part of the price of living for Christ. Yes, your difficult circumstances are painful, but when you know what Jesus knows about the future, you can be generous in your attitude toward those difficult circumstances and difficult people.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Crux of Christianity” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2016.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.