“Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'” Matthew 5:1-10
“We were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again.” 2 Corinthians 1:8b-10
Jesus spoke the beatitudes as a pronouncement of blessing for the present and a storehouse of trust for the future. Blessed gems they were, pledges of assurance, comfort, provision, satisfaction, mercy, and hope. But the dichotomous mystery is that several of the blessings are in answer to a dearth, a sorrow, an unmet longing. Some are God’s divine favor upon righteousness, but others are given for the hurting, the wanting, the suffering. It is against these harsh griefs His exquisite goodness blooms most brightly, into numbness His presence is most palpable.
The phone call we subconsciously dreaded. The life-altering prognosis. The horrific discovery. Grief that chokes and we could never imagine until we’re drowning, and even then it overwhelms beyond definition or reason. Where and to whom can we go? How do we live? Will we ever breathe normally again? (John 6:68)
In comes the Blessed and blessing One. It is in this very space I bring my treasure. You cannot know its fullness apart from your lack, nor its beauties apart from the ugliness you suffer. I am here. Take of My bounty, my beloved.
It is the suffering who share the depths of Christ’s agonies who are blessed to know His resurrection power. It is the weak who know His strength, the helpless who experience His Spirit’s victory, the gasping and breathless who receive His divine resuscitation. While it is unnatural to welcome the suffering, we can welcome His glorious and generous meeting of it with sure hope and confidence. (Genesis 2:7; 2 Chronicles 20:12; Ezekiel 37:1-10; Zechariah 4:6; Romans 7:24-25a; 2 Corinthians 12:7b,8-10; Philippians 3:7-11)
What grief weighs as impossible and forever? What pain excruciating, what regret measureless, what despair all-encompassing, what if-onlys darkly unanswered, what wound incurable? The God of all comfort is nigh. He stands ready, arms opened wide, eager to embrace, save, and uphold. Mercy is His nature, unbounded love His way, resurrection His promise. Would we rest in those everlasting arms, and trust His infinite goodness? (Deuteronomy 33:27a; John 11:21-23; 2 Corinthians 1:1-10)
Father, apply Your divine balm to mourning hearts. Bring comfort as only You can, to their deepest blessing and Your worthy praise.