How We Can Receive God’s Blessings: The Many Blessings of the Beatitudes

by Jack Wellman on October 19, 2013 · Print Print · Email Email

Everyone wants to be blessed by God.  What Bible verses are there where we can receive blessings by God and where Jesus says that if we do these things we can certainly be blessed.

What the Word Blessed Means

Most people might not know that the word blessed means.  It is literally means happy or to be made happy.  When God blesses you or assures you that you can be blessed or made happy by following certain Scriptures, it would be foolish to not read them and then try to apply them to your life.  It is not easy but neither is living the Christian life.  One of the most potent sections of Scripture is the Beatitudes or what some call, the Sermon on the Mount. There is no place in the New Testament where Jesus promises so many blessings to His followers.  The Beatitudes is a list of what Christians will inherit or receive by what they do: God favors the humble, those who trust in him rather than their own strength (James 4:6). In these few verses, Jesus promises blessings to those who would read and obey them.  Let’s go through each verse to see how these blessings can be received and what the verses mean in the context of our everyday life.  I have intentionally inserted the words “made happy” or “they’re made happy who” into the verses to make them more clear since we know the Greek meaning for blessed is happy or to be made happy.  These verses are found in Matthew 5:1-12.

When God blesses you or assures you that you can be blessed or made happy by following certain Scriptures, it would be foolish to not read them and then try to apply them to your life.

When God blesses you or assures you that you can be blessed or made happy by following certain Scriptures, it would be foolish to not read them and then try to apply them to your life.

Matthew 5: 1-3 “And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. Then, He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: Blessed (they’re made happy who) are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

This does not necessarily mean financially poor but low or meek in spirit.  They are blessed (will be made happy) if they are not full of themselves. The meek do not force Christ on anyone and are not easily provoked to anger. They’ve not taken themselves too seriously. Poorer people are generally more humble.

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed (or made happy) are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

A person who mourns may mean that they mourn their sins and so this could be understood to mean a person with a repentant heart. They mourn their own sinfulness. If they do, the result is that they receive comfort knowing that they are forgiven (1 John 1:9). When a person mourns their own sin they will be quick to confess it.  The mournful respond humbly.

Also those who are broken, who suffer or have sustained personal grief often mourn with others. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can do with someone who has lost a loved one is to sit quietly with them and say nothing. Those who mourn will also better comfort those who mourn.

Matthew 5:5 “Blessed (they’re made happy who) are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

A meek person is a person who recognizes that God alone is sovereign. They don’t try to force doors open.  They pray for God’s will to be done in their lives and not demand or try to follow their own will for their life.  Moses was one of the meekest men on earth but meekness does not mean weakness.  Meekness is strength under control. The meek also esteem others better than themselves (Rom 12:10), even if they are in the right. The meek give much, they do not take by force, and thus they will inherit all of the things on the earth because they give more than take.

Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those (or made happy) who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

David wrote something that reminds me of this verse, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants after you O God” (Psalm 42:1).  Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness means that they have an intense desire for God’s righteousness; they are dying of thirst to drink in the Word of God.  They are seeking to grow in grace and knowledge and have a desperate desire for (strong thirst to be) righteous as He is righteous…and to be holy as He is holy (1 Pet 1:16).  Some of the best manuscripts render 1 Peter 1:16 “ you shall be holy” as a future imperative or meaning since we will not be without sin until Christ returns and our bodies will be gloried and we will then be incapable of sinning, thus we “shall be filled.”   In this, the future imperative of 1 Peter 1:16 and Matthew 5:6 indicates that our hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled because we will be like He is and see Him as He presently is.  First John 3:2b says “But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”  That is when we will finally “be filled.”

Matthew 5:7 “Blessed (or made happy) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”

Many have the gift of mercy which is one of the gifts of the Spirit (Rom 12:8) but this is more than just a gift…it is an attitude toward others. The mature mercy-giver is kind and gentle. Merciful people are drawn to other sensitive people. Believers who express mercy are the backbone of the prayer power in the Church. They feel they must pray. To them, prayer is an expression of their hearts to God and nothing else they can do releases these emotions and captures God’s heart better than prayer. They will receive mercy…both in the future but also today by God’s being merciful to them when they make mistakes or sin.

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed (they’re made happy who) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

The pure in heart is mentioned in Psalm 73 and refers to those who recognize that God alone is their hope.  Psalm 24:3-5 says “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart. They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior.” Only the pure in heart are able to see God (2 Cor 5:21). It is not that the pure in heart might or may see God but they will see God and there is no doubt about it.

Matthew 5:9 “Blessed (they’re made happy who) are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”

Peacemakers are not who you think they are. They are those who stop gossip in its tracks.  They bring peace when conflict is almost certain to occur.  They “head off” conflict before it comes.  They also see opportunities to mediate a peace between offended parties. They resolve conflicts at church, work, in families, in the parking lot, in the stores, everywhere they go.  God calls the peacemakers, the sons and daughters of God.  They are sons and daughters of their father because there is evidence that they are peacemakers.

Matthew 5:10 ”Blessed (they’re made happy who) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Have you ever been insulted because you are a Christian? Good!  Why?  Because “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you” (1 Pet 4:14).  I want that! But James goes on, “if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name” (1 Pet 4:16).  Far too many believers are surprised when they are persecuted and disheartened but we are blessed when we are persecuted for Jesus’ sake and if you’ve never, ever been persecuted for your beliefs, then you may want to ask yourself if you’re an underground Christian or a Christian at all.

Matthew 5:11 “Blessed (they’re made happy who) are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.”

Jesus guaranteed that “‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours” (John 15:20).  To be reviled is to be spoken evil of, treated as contemptible, to be despised, to be hated.  About every evil thing will be said about you because you are associated with Christ.  That’s good!  It is for His sake and He is actually glorified by this, as strange as that sounds.

Matthew 5:12 “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad (literally, leap for joy and jump), for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

They killed the prophets, they killed Jesus, and so what makes us think they will bring us flowers and candy?  You are in excellent company my friends when you are treated the way those in the Bible have been treated. That is strong evidence that you are professing Him before others and at least you know that you’re on the right side…His!

Conclusion

The Beatitudes are a “be-attitude” in which we strive to have the mind of Christ.  Jesus fulfilled and lived out these verses perfectly.  That doesn’t mean that we cannot also be blessed when we have this mind of Christ, or this attitude of God.  When we are a blessing to others we receive the blessing of God. When we are despised we are blessed.  When we are reviled God makes up for it with a special blessing. And when we are persecuted and hated for Jesus’ sake, we have the Spirit of the glory of God resting upon us. I want that. If you are not saved, then you can never be blessed by God and in fact you are currently under a curse.  If you step out of this life without Christ as your Savior, you are cursed for all eternity by being separated from God with no second chance to ever be saved.  Today, in you will hear God’s voice, you can be saved (2 Cor 6:2).  Tomorrow may be too late.

Related article: The Beatitudes: Sunday School Lesson and Commentary

Resources: New International Version Bible (NIV) THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide



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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

DocReits October 19, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Hi Jack,

I thank you for another great article. I hope you do not mind me suggesting an additional idea about the Beatitudes which I have found makes sense (to me).

Strong’s concordance defines the Greek word used to transcribe Jesus’s word “Blessed” as makarios, supremely blest, from which comes the word makarizo meaning to beatify, i.e. pronounce (or esteem) fortunate: -call blessed, count happy.

The word blest is defined further in old and middle English to mean:

Blest Origin:
before 950; Middle English blessen, Old English blētsian, blēdsian to consecrate, orig. with blood, earlier *blōdisōian ( blōd blood + -isō- derivational suffix + -ian v. suffix)

Our English language understand this word blessed to currently mean:

— vb , blesses , blessing , blessed , blest
1. to consecrate or render holy, beneficial, or prosperous by means of a religious rite
2. to give honour or glory to (a person or thing) as divine or holy
3. to call upon God to protect; give a benediction to
4. to worship or adore (God); call or hold holy
5. ( often passive ) to grant happiness, health, or prosperity to: they were blessed with perfect peace

I am trying to be brief here but let me summarize by stating that we get the idea from Strong’s of beatifying, from old English “to consecrate” and from current definitions “to consecrate or to make holy”.

Strong’s in talking about “happy” allows for the idea of “counting (as) happy”, or deemed happy. This is something done to the recipient(deemed) not proceeding from the same.

This leads to, IMO, inaccurate translations of the NT when we substitute “Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now…” (Lk 6:21) KJV, for:

“Happy are you who hunger now,
because you will be satisfied.
Happy are you who weep now…” (Common English Bible)

God consecrates (sets apart) and makes holy (beatifies) those Christians who hunger and thirst after righteousness and in so doing “counts” them as being fortunate. This is very different than how they feel, (which “happiness” connotes), when going through these heavy trials.

For further weight to what I am saying look again at Luke’s telling of this event a few verses later when he gives God’s opposite warning to those who do evil:

“But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets”. (Luke 6:25,26) KJV

Here Jesus does not say these are “unhappy” as a contrast to the “Blessed” but that they are counted by God as worthy of “woe”, the opposite of being “consecrated as holy” or Blessed.

Should we be happy as Christians, absolutely! Is that always possible, absolutely not, except for those in denial…;-) Should we rejoice always? Ah, there it is….and fodder for another article…

Is being “happy” in trials what Jesus is saying on the Mount while preaching the Beatitudes? Well…you know what I think…but hey, I’ve been wrong a lot this week…..;-) Thanks again for poking my brain in the side with this great article!

Your friend,

DocReits

Reply

Jack Wellman October 19, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Great insight my friend. The Greek word for blessed is like any adjective in the English language. I do see that happiness is not the goal of the Christian, as you so wisely stated because happiness is based upon happenings and Joel Osteen’s book “Your Best Life Know” makes no sense to me because if this is our best life now, what a let down when the Kingdom comes down from heaven! LOL

Anyway, when I wrote this I did so with the understanding that the word blessed can be used as a verb or noun and I should have clarified that it was intended to be a verb…and verb’s are action…its what you do or have done to you or someone or something (if that makes sense). I wished I had delineated the differences between which were used in my Greek lexicon because there are actually 3 uses of this word “blessed” and I believe it is the summation of them all when I used it to mean “be happy” or “to be made happy.”

Greek use of blessed number 1:

chairo (verb) – happy, rejoice, glad, joy, delight, etc

Greek use of blessed number 2:

chara (noun, f) – happiness, joy, etc. … something that might bring about the emotion of happy.

Greek use of blessed number 3: euthumeo (verb) – keep up the courage, happy

When the word “is” is used next to a word, particularly, happy, the meaning is blessed is equal to (=) whatever follows. Does that make sense?

I would like to add that many here are promoting “makarios” as the answer. This is best rendered from the Greek as “blessing”, and rarely as “happy” in the NT. A blessing is intended to produce something in the recipient and that was my purpose. Though a blessing may sometimes produce the emotion of “happy” it is a result of but not the real goal of it…it is a byproduct but not the real meaning of it (I hope I haven’t muddied it up!) but anyway to produce an emotion of being “happy” was not my intent and I must have did a poor job of communicating this. It is not always the case and many times makarios is used to suggest a spiritual strengthening or perspective in times of suffering, with no indication of a positive emotion such as “happy” (e.g. James 1:12 or 1 Peter 3:14, 4:14 or the blessings of in the Scriptures in the Beatitudes). This is why the vast majority of Bible translations NEVER render makarios as happy, but rather as blessed … for it is the spiritual strength that is the result of blessing rather than an emotion and that is what I should have clarified much better than I did.

In context, yes, it might be that markarios could infrequently be rendered as happy (particularly in the OT implication of blessing), however this is not the case with most uses in the NT, where we have the Greek uses of this word. My expository dictionaries of the Old and New Testament sometimes have so much info that I must glean out to reduce it to a “mere” 2,000 words. Anyway, you always contribute much to any article and/or conversation my friend. God loves FAT people….faithful, available, and teachable which I pray I may be all 3!

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Patricia Schneider October 21, 2013 at 6:28 pm

WOW! This is the BEST INTERPRETATION of The Beatitudes as found in God’s Word, Matthew 5:1-12!!! THANK YOU, Pastor Jack!

Appreciated and understood DocReits’ comment (October 19, 2013) and your reply to him, Pastor.

The Beatitudes & Psalm 23 are my favorite parts of God’s Word. Would like to share with everyone what a precious sister in Christ, Imelda Oraye Jopson’s, (lives in the Philippians!) ‘interpretation’ of PSALM 23:

The Lord is my Shepherd -That’s Relationship!
I shall not want – That’s Supply!
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures – That’s Rest!
He leadeth me beside the still waters, He restores my soul
– That’s Refreshment!
He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake – That’s Purpose!
Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death -
That’s Testing!
I will fear no evil – That’s Protection!
For Thou art with me – That’s Faithfulness!
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me – That’s discipline.
Thou prepareth a table before me in the presence of my enemies – That’s Hope!
Thou anointest my head with oil – That’s Consecration!
My cup runneth over – That’s Abundance!
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life – That’s Blessing!
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord, FOREVER! -
That’s Security!

Isn’t that just WOW, Pastor Jack? (Imelda has become my dearest Sis in Christ. Being more ‘matured’ in God’s Word than me, Imelda has helped me tremendously in comprehending God’s Holy Word! I feel so blessed having her & her family in my life, Pastor Jack!)

Loved that sentence at end of your article, “The Beatitudes are a ‘be-attitude,’ etc.” That tickled me, as well as made an important point!
Oodles of God’s wonderful blessings and graces be showered upon you, Pastor Jack, your family, and your ministry!!!
Always, your Sis in Christ Jesus ~ Patty

Reply

Jack Wellman October 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Imelda Oraye Jopson nailed it spot on. I heard this from James McDonald in one of his sermons years ago….maybe he stole it….no, no, borrowed it from her! That Psalm 23 has so much more meaning than I ever realized. I wrote one on this Psalm on this website it was so very similar what Mrs. Jopson said at: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/psalm-23-a-bible-study/ Thanks sister in Christ Jesus. Can’t wait to meet you someday! (Soon? Could be,not for sure of course).

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Patricia Schneider October 21, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Oh, Pastor Jack, whether in this lifetime or in God’s Kingdom, it will be such a THRILL meeting you face to face!!! ~ Patty

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Murray October 22, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Very inspirational. Blessed are the followers of Jesus Christ. Makes me want to be a better person and serve my neighbours more.
God Bless
Murray

Reply

Jack Wellman October 22, 2013 at 10:14 pm

You are so kind Murray and so right…it convicted me when I wrote it as I saw just how far short I fall.

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