I was “caught” with intrigue when I read the blurb for this book, “What It Means To Be Blessed.” People say “God bless you”, they say “I’m blessed”, and they exclaim, “You are blessed!” all to remind you or to “wish for you” to be endowed with happiness, or wealth, success, good health or no problems. Some use it as an excuse not to complain. When asked, “How are you?” they reply, “I’m blessed.” Maybe so, but what does that even mean?
According to Jesus, it means so much more (or less) than the way we use it. I’ve read the beatitudes many times in my life. They have taught me a lot. It is a positive message that Jesus gives the multitude and disciples on the side of the mountain, but they are hard lessons. Does He mean we are to be poor in spirit in order to be blessed? Is Jesus saying that only if you are meek that you will inherit the earth? That only when you’re suffering that you will experience the kingdom of Heaven? No! His words were to be encouraging and comforting. He had compassion on the multitude, and was giving them some powerful words to heal their spirits and to motivate them when they had lost hope.
It’s very difficult to get yourself out of the molly-grubs. When you are walking through a dark tunnel, quoted scripture falls on your ears much like unwelcome chill bumps when a cold wind hits you. It’s not that you don’t believe it to be true, but that you can’t quite absorb the comfort from it. Your heart is not involved with your brain at the moment. We are in a state of brokenness. But we are not a disappointment to God! Jesus says, “I know your heart is broken in two. I know that you can’t hardly lift your head, your spirit is so low. But you know what? Those who are poor in spirit…who are so broke that they can’t pull on their own bootstraps…they will inherit the earth.” That’s real comfort! He gets down beside us, puts His arms around us, and just holds us because He knows. It won’t always be like this. I understand where you’re at right now, but be comforted. You are blessed. You are blessed, because you know what the comfort feels like. You’re actually pretty blessed when people say ugly things about you, because you know what it feels like to be trampled underfoot. You know how to extend compassion and comfort to others because you will be filled with the kingdom of God! Those who don’t know that they are empty don’t know the feeling of being full of comfort. You are blessed.
“I am wounded. I am broken. I am a sinner. I am lost, I need you. I can’t do this on my own, I need your help.” We are loved, valued and comforted. I didn’t say comfortABLE but comfortED. You can’t be comforted until you have experienced loss or heartache or had trouble.
The saddest person of all is the person who refuses to be comforted. A lot of us have to process the things that happen—some of us take longer than others—but one thing I know is that when faced with a person that says, “just get over it” or belittles my pain, it makes me recoil. But when faced with a person who is full of compassion, it makes me break open and gush out all of the hurt, and I feel comfortED.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
The FATHER of compassion. The God of ALL comfort, comforts us in ALL our troubles. I accept, I receive your comfort, Father!
SO THAT…we can comfort those in any trouble. We pass it on. No one understands or has compassion like those who’ve been in our shoes. We embrace His comfort so we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. Uplift, encourage, comfort, spread healing and bless others.
Author Bobby Schuller is down to earth, not providing empty phrases or passing religious judgement but just gives us some wise and worthy comfort-words. “You can trust Jesus. You can trust what he teaches us in the Sermon on the Mount. The life Jesus calls us to is difficult, but we can trust him.” Amen to that.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars