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

by Jack Wellman · 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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