Hebrews 10: 23-24 (NKJV)
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.”
My husband and I just finished a whirlwind trip through two states seeing family and friends. At every encounter, I was reminded of God’s faithfulness, and provision, particularly during some of the most difficult periods in our lives. His grace markers were evident as I held hands with our first grandson, looked into the faces of family and friends, and saw the delight in their eyes. God has so blessed us. He has been faithful through all the trials and tribulations, and all the wrong decisions made. Through the Prophet Isaiah God said, “…Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me, Hear and your soul shall live;…(Isaiah 55:2b-3a). God promised his plans for us would give us a future and a hope. God promised to never leave us nor forsake us. God promised us to give us the desires of our hearts. These promises and more are a testament to the faithfulness of our Lord. His promises are true; because God does not lie. His grace is sufficient. Hold fast to your hope for our God is faithful. Listen carefully to Him. Incline yourself to His word. Trust Him. Pursue Him with your whole heart, and encourage others to taste and see that the Lord is good. For we have a hope, a magnificent hope.
I love reading and studying the Bible. We have several translations, and study tools which help, with the aid of the Holy Spirit our understanding of God’s Word. They also draws us deeper in our relationship with God. One of those translations is The Message by Eugene Peterson. This morning I read Matthew the fifth chapter where Jesus shared the Beatitudes with his disciples. After reading The Message, I had one of those epiphanies. You know the ones that comes to reassure, comfort and bring light. After reading the passage, my spirit peacefully lingered on its meaning; I am blessed. No matter what I am blessed, and can make it through. I am blessed despite the loss of loved ones. I’m blessed going in, and going out. I am blessed because God loves me. I am blessed. I am blessed.
Here is the passage.
Matthew Chapter 5: 1-12 The Message
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 “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.
7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 “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.
10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “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. (The Message)
These words and its meaning are so clear. I know most Christians are familiar with The King James Version (KJV). I grow up reading it as well. However, when I became acquainted with The Message I found it to be particularly helpful, especially when I’ve used it in teaching and in my personal study time. It has enhanced my understanding of the Bible along with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
Today, I was reminded of this simple, yet powerful truth that I am blessed. And as soon as I embraced that fact, I knew I had to share it. I sensed someone needed to be reminded as I did, that our awesome God wants us to know without a shadow of doubt how incredibly blessed we are.
So if you are feeling troubled, may these words remind you that no matter what happens you are blessed.
The Message by Eugene Peterson