“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him, and He began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit, For Theirs Is The kingdom Of Heaven
In every season of life, God has the intention to make us disciples. In order to achieve that, following God should be consistent, whether in joy or sorrow. Even when we are in the valley of darkness we have to keep following God. If we are in God, when we are poor, we have to be happy. Our happiness should come from the understanding that our name is written in the book of life. Therefore, being happy or sad is regardless of our finance.
The economy is in a critical condition. If we follow God, in the negative condition we need to have our faith said, “my God will always provide.” Even if you are allowed to fall into poverty, pray that you fall into poverty at the hands of God. While in God, even though we are poor we will be able to learn:
1. Showing gratitude despite scarcity.
2. Enjoying things to the fullest.
3. Managing money diligently.
The unfortunate child of God will not live forever in poverty. As long as we do not take things for granted, we are happy in God – and God will give us what our heart wants, not just what we need. Seek first the Kingdom of God and everything will be added to you. Diligence leads to abundance. Laziness leads to poverty.
What we are managing now might be a fragment of what we had. However, if we manage it with Jesus, those fragments will become the upcoming testimony of God’s glory.
Blessed Are Those Who Mourn, For They Will Be Comforted
Sometimes, there will be difficult seasons in our lives. Grief is part of the reality of our lives. The Bible also says, "Blessed are those who mourn, because they will be comforted." Grieving must not be too deep until it leads to depression. If we have a divine perspective on grieving, we will still be happy. Sometimes there are also many people start to seek God only when they are at the bottom.
The valley produces a lot of repentance. There is wisdom in sorrow. There are people who mourn but there are other family members who repent to God. Do not conclude that God took someone's life so that someone else would repent. It does not work that way. But we have to train ourselves to see the positive side in difficult times like this.
Most likely, if God allows something that is not good in your life, it does not mean that you have sinned or we have a broken conscience, or maybe even not because we pray less – but God wants us to realize that we are mere human. For that reason, do not hold anything too tightly on earth. Because nothing lasts forever.
Blessed Are The Meek, For They Will Inherit The Earth
Amidst a pandemic like this, the world has experienced many surprising changes that require us to immediately adjust (religion, worship, work, etc.). This makes us redefine, which ones are methods, which ones are principles.
We must be rigid in matters of principle, but we must be able to adjust to non-principle things, for example, accepting changes (methods). God allows all seasons of life so that we are gentle in areas where we have to be soft and firm in areas where we must be firm.
Learn to evaluate all ways or methods for us to live, for example how to build relation or communication to family, children, or partners. Learn to adapt, start by listening to God more.
Blessed Are Those Who Hunger And Thirst For Righteousness, For They Will Be Filled
During the pandemic, most of us have an extra spare time. Don't waste it. Use your time to read the Bible. If our family is united with one book (the Bible), then every family member will share the same life value. Let's make this time a season of spiritual growth.
Blessed Are The Merciful, For They Will Be Shown Mercy
Even though we are facing tough economics, live like someone who has God. Don't be a selfish fool and hoard because of fear. In the Lord's Prayer, Jesus taught us to ask God to be given enough food. Use this opportunity to learn to be grateful and give because generous people will get mercy. Indeed, no one will ever know what will happen tomorrow. It is not that we do not need to prepare. We still have to prepare for our future, but do not worry beyond the limits, worrying will not add an hour to our lives.
It is time for us to love God. Think of others, learn to work hand in hand at a time like this. This is the time to rise and help our neighbours. It is not limited to material aids. In times of crisis, sometimes non-material aids are very valuable. Build relationships by providing prayer, attention, or encouraging words.
Excerpted from Philip Mantofa’s Sermon, 24 May 2020, Sunday Service, GMS Surabaya Barat