Luke’s writing of the Beatitudes, or blessings, is shorter than that recorded in Matthew ‘s Gospel. However, in both cases Jesus is being countercultural in the words that he shares. Jesus demonstrates that there is a distinction between happiness and blessedness. ‘Happiness’ in our world today, is based on the circumstances of our lives; while ‘blessedness’ is based on the character of God. Our life circumstances are constantly moving up and down, back and forth and can cause our emotions to swing wildly from one state to another. But, when we embrace the fact that God does not change and is the only constant in our lives, we can rest in a sense of blessedness regardless of what life throws at us.
So how can we consider ourselves blessed when we are poor, hungry, weeping, and are hated by others? We start by seeing the world as Jesus sees it. Then, we begin to act like Jesus acted when he was on earth. And we embrace the fact that the Kingdom of God is coming now and in its fullness in the future. The process of the Kingdom coming has begun and we get to be a part of that because we are in connection with a Holy God.
The Beatitudes are not a set of rules and regulations, rather they represent a picture of the lives we will live as the Holy Spirit is filling us with His presence and giving us a proper perspective of the Kingdom now and in the future. Our perspective shifts on the world and our current circumstances change when we realize that the Kingdom of God isn’t as much about getting and it is about being. The relationship with God changes everything.
Is the major objective of your life finding happiness? If so, what happens when life is difficult and bad things are happening? Ask the Lord to fill you with His Spirit and base your life on being filled with His presence. Then you’ll discover what a truly blessed life is.