While reading through the book of Matthew, the Holy Spirit has graciously led me to glimpse the heart of Jesus, especially through the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.

In the first few verses, we see Jesus’ comforting words of blessing concerning the poor in spirit, the meek, and those who mourn. For the poor in spirit—those lacking in courage or vigor—He says the Kingdom of Heaven will be theirs. The meek—those who are gentle and humble—will inherit the earth. And those who mourn will be comforted.

Christ’s message to them is a message of hope. Each of them will receive the longing of their hearts. This seems almost contradictory. We usually think that only those who are outwardly courageous and fight will receive the reward. But Jesus sees the hearts of the poor, meek, and mournful. He knows the strength it takes them to keep their eyes on Him, and He desires to give them their reward.

Next, we see Jesus’ words of encouragement to those who are deeply desiring to follow hard after God. They have the strong desire to pursue the Spirit-filled, Spirit-controlled life. For those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled! Satisfied! Those who are merciful—who show compassion towards an offender or enemy—will likewise receive mercy and compassion when they offend.

Our first thought when offended might be to seek revenge, to hurt the person as they have hurt us. But Jesus’ words encourage us to show mercy, which often times requires a change of heart. We aren’t to worry that someone might take advantage of us. Jesus says if we show mercy, we will be shown mercy when we need it.

Those who are pure in heart—innocent, untainted by evil, who see the best in others—will see God! And the peacemakers—those who bring harmony—will be called the sons of God. Jesus calls all of them blessed and all will receive their reward from God!

When we dwell in Christ, we don’t fight with the weapons of the world. We listen to the voice of God; we allow Him to transform our hearts to be like His. Even if all seems wrong on the outside, on the inside we can live in the peace of God that surpasses all our understanding. Isn’t that the very definition of blessed?