“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort, and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.Matthew 5:6-12
Lord, Jesus – I confess that my appetites get worked up for so many things that are much less satisfying than You.
The cares of the world draw me into myself and not toward others.
I don’t see You clearly, cooperate with others readily, or pursue persecution needlessly.
I’m most comfortable being liked and left alone. But that is not Your Way.
Yours is the way of self-sacrifice and steady faithfulness and pursuing others with the Truth of the gospel as we run after You.
I want to say, “count me in” on the blessings while I hold myself apart from the struggles. But I don’t want to miss the applause of heaven.
So, give me courage to be counted among Your blessed, to be thrown out of places I shouldn’t wander into, to speak the Truth and celebrate the suffering. May I gratefully share the experiences that come to all of Your troublemakers.
[Verse selection and responsive prayer by Shereen Schwaninger]