Often in our lives, we will face challenges and difficulties which we as Christians are called to overcome by faith in the living God. How wonderful to know that Jesus has words of life for us throughout the New Year! Our faith rests upon all the promises of the Word of God and of our Savior, Jesus the Christ. He asks us to trust and obey His leading in all of our personal matters and look to Him, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). Jesus promised that His Spirit would dwell in us to strengthen, bless, and guide us through this life to life everlasting.
Let us begin this year by claiming in prayer the blessings of these Beatitudes!Harry Klinger
Blessings rest upon those who mourn
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4)
In a fallen world, we are faced with much grief. At a young age everyone will experience the fall into sin, and spiritual death follows. Paul describes this reality of our souls in Romans 7:7-24 and concludes with the heartfelt plea, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” Jesus promises if we mourn and repent of our sins and place our faith in His saving grace, we will be forgiven and healed. The blessing of His comfort will rest upon us and we will be set free (see Romans 8)!
All of us will experience suffering in this life. Some will experience abuse and abandonment; others will face natural disasters or accidents, while still others will face sickness and the heartbreak of losing loved ones.
Yet in all of this let us pray that:
- Jesus’ blessing of forgiveness would rest upon each repentant heart.
- In our sufferings, God’s people would turn in faith to Jesus and His comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-7).
- All of our griefs and trials would serve to strengthen our faith (2 Corinthians 7:5-7).
2. Blessings flow to those who hunger and thirst
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6)
I distinctly remember a time in my life when my soul hungered for truth. I studied many philosophies and traveled the world in a quest for finding peace and fulfillment for my soul. This thirst for living waters I could not find in any well of this world. But when I met Jesus, living waters flowed into my soul! May we share the Good News and pray that God awakens a thirst for these living waters in precious souls around us, that they may be filled with righteousness and thirst no more (John 4:13-14).
May the good Lord also awaken a hunger and thirst for His Word and Spirit in the church. If His people focus on the Lord to learn from Him and long to be Spirit filled, His church will grow and be blessed as in Acts 2:38-47.
Let us pray that:
- God would awaken many around us to seek the Lord’s forgiveness and peace (John 6:35).
- God sends us revival and all the blessings of a Spirit-filled church (Acts 4:31-35).
3. Blessed and holy are the pure in heart
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. (Matthew 5:8)
What an amazing promise for all of God’s children! Who does not wish to see God in all of His glory and holiness one day? But this requires that we live a holy life as His disciples, learning daily to carry our cross and follow in His footsteps (1 Peter 2:21-22). The blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all sin to live a victorious life over sin, before a holy God who empowers us with His Spirit (1 Peter 1:13-19). We are set free from a life of sin and empowered to exhibit the fruit of righteousness and holiness, whose end is everlasting life (Romans 6:20-23).
Let us pray that:
- Our daily lives would be pleasing and holy unto God and glorify His name.
- Others could see the fruit of the Spirit in our lives and be blessed (Galatians 5:22-25).
- One day by grace, Jesus would bring us into heaven to see the living God (Revelation 21:22-27).
4. Blessings of peace rest upon the peacemakers
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)
We live in a broken world of strife, envy, and hate that is led by the spirit of this world (James 3:13-16). Yet those who turn to God are led by the Holy Spirit of peace, mercy, and compassion (v. 17-18). We know that Jesus is the Prince of Peace and His people are filled with His Spirit of peace. They are called to always strive for the way of peace in the church family by the grace of God (2 Thessalonians 3:16-18). As sons of God, we are to extend this hand of peace, love, and forgiveness to all those around us; even our enemies (Matthew 5:44-45).
Let us pray for:
- Peace to flow into our hearts to bless others by our Spirit-led walk (Luke 6:35-36).
- Peace to reign in the life of the church (1 Thessalonians 1:1-5).
- Grace in our lives to extend love and patience to everyone we meet (Hebrews 12:14).
5. Blessings rest upon the persecuted
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10)
Who would wish to be persecuted when having done no wrong, except for having decided to follow Jesus? In many cases this is an unacceptable decision that often leads to the new believer being ridiculed or cast out. How do we as Christians react when we are persecuted because of our faith and loyalty to Christ and His Word? The Apostle Peter affirms the promise of Jesus that if we are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, we are truly blessed (1 Peter 3:14)! From the time of the apostles to the church of today, Christians have always faced persecution. Peter says we are always to be ready to give a defense of our faith, but in the Spirit of meekness and fear (v. 15-16).
Let us pray in the powerful name of Jesus for:
- God’s Word to be preached and distributed locally and throughout the world (Matthew 28:18-20).
- The Spirit of Christ to empower us and the persecuted church to live Christ-like (Romans 12:9-18).
- The double blessing of this Beatitude, as Jesus adds, “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven.…” (Matthew 5:11-12).
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