Blessed are they who are healthy, wealthy, and have their hearts desires now, says the world.
If you’re like me, you’re mesmerized by the Beatitudes because you may feel like they don’t make sense. You may not feel blessed if you don’t have health, wealth, and your heart's desires at this very moment. How could anyone be blessed and happy if they don’t have these things?
I know family members, coworkers, and acquaintances who have all of the above and they seem to be very blessed and happy. They have a great life here on earth full of their heart's desires. I admit that I get a little jealous sometimes.
So I furthermore can question, is someone really blessed if they mourn, hunger and thirst for righteousness, are poor in spirit and meek, clean of heart, persecuted and suffering, and merciful? It doesn’t seem like those people are living a blessed life.
The answer lies in the phrases that follow. If you notice, they are all future-focused vs. now focused. They will be comforted, satisfied, shown mercy, see God, and have reward in the kingdom of heaven. It doesn’t say when, but it assures us that it will happen.
Livers of the Beatitudes will be blessed in God’s Kingdom Come, not My Kingdom Now.
How do we live with this?
That’s the central challenge of the Beatitudes. We don’t have a faith of instant gratification. “Now” will not bring the true and lasting rewards of a faithful life, even though it may sustain us and bring forth small rewards and blessings along the way.
For the faithful, it’s a day-in, day-out struggle of living the Beatitudes and teachings of Jesus and having faith that by doing so, we’ll gain the reward of seeing God and being with Him forever with all the peace, joy, and goodness we longed for on Earth.
Two examples come to mind for me. One of my aunts was never blessed with children and she has lived a life of humble, generous love and care for others nonetheless. She has always struck me as poor in spirit and meek. A faithful family I know just lost their young adult daughter to a fatal car accident and mourns her tragic death. I am certain in both cases, God’s going to bless these people in the life to come.
Living the Beatitudes are a long-game, not a short-game, but the rewards are lasting and enduring.
So yes, blessed are they now who are healthy, wealthy, and have their hearts’ desires. But even more blessed are those in the life to come who mourn, hunger and thirst for righteousness, are poor in spirit, meek, and clean of heart, and are persecuted and merciful.