When Jesus is the foundation of our lives and when we lay the bricks of these foundational attitudes–the Beatitudes–we are promised blessedness. Jesus provides answers to conditions in our lives that we so often can’t figure out. Why does it seem that happiness and fulfillment are so hard to obtain? Why is it so hard to get by day to day? Jesus does not promise smooth sailing every moment in our life. In fact—-He tells us quite the opposite, that we will face trials and persecutions. So–how do we deal with that?
I want to take one last look again at the first two Beatitudes. After all, these attitudes are the basis in our lives that Jesus tells us will create a blessed life. Their importance can’t be underestimated. So, as we go through these attitudes, I want to look at them from different angles and through different lenses in order to discover more of their beauty and the amaziningness (is that a word?) in which Jesus shared this wisdom so that we might find ourselves living a blessed life.
The first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3), is an “Intellectual” attitude. So often….we simply choose to “go it alone”, to rely on ourselves, our own confidence, and our own direction–we want to be “self-made”. Jesus tells us that the true way–the way of truth and light is to be “God-made”. We need to acknowledge our need and dependence on God. The promise, the blessing is that we will be with Jesus in His kingdom, the kingdom of heaven…right here…right now as it is played out in human history and as it extends into eternity.
The second Beatitude, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4) , addresses the same attitude from an “emotional” level. People who depend on God have this incredible ability to face whatever life brings, an ability that produces joy and fulfillment. They see themselves and the world in the way that it is–they recognize the weaknesses of humankind as well as their own–it breaks their heart and they look to God for that comfort and wisdom in their lives that they truly need. The promise is that WE WILL be comforted by our loving Father.
By adopting these attitudes that Jesus taught, the attitudes of humbleness, being “poor in spirit”, leaning on God, and the attitude of leaning on Jesus every step of our lives–we set the stage and set a foundation in our lives in which we can build a happy, joyful and fulfilling life.
As we continue to look at the BE-attitudes–I want to point out that Jesus deliver’s to us “The truth upside-down”. A truth that is often full of paradox, the opposite of what the world would have us think, a truth that grabs us and shakes us up. This truth has been described as, “truth standing on its head calling for attention”. The attitudes expressed in the Beatitudes are a foundation for a happy, joyful and fulfilled life. In order to live this life to the fullest we need to establish healthy attitudes toward ALL of the experiences of life.
In the same way that a building is no stronger than the foundation upon which it is built, no life is more secure than the attitudes upon which that LIFE is established. We have begun to look at Jesus’ teachings in the Beatitudes. There is a sequence in the Sermon on the Mount. Each truth is a building block that supports what follows.
I guess that’s why they are called then “Beatitudes”–they are beautiful attitudes to have and to hold close to our heart. Jesus started here. This is where we need to start also.
Wednesday, we will begin to look at the next two Beatitudes, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Matthew 5:5) and “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 6:6).