Discover the transformative power of the Bible Beatitudes and their lessons for cultivating true happiness and spiritual growth.
What are the Bible Beatitudes?
In our modern society, we define blessed as happy or fortunate. However, when you read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, you’ll find a very different definition of blessed.
The Beatitudes are what we refer to as this section of blessings in Matthew 5:3-11. Here are are first three of the nine Beatitudes:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. And blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."
A 2023 version of the Beatitudes might read something like this:
"Blessed are the healthy, for they never deal with pain. Blessed are the millionaires, for they can buy whatever they want. And blessed are those who go on kid-free vacations, for they get to sleep in."
If everything seems to be going your way, people consider you blessed.
So what does that mean for the rest of us–the ones who struggle with health issues, who have kids who don’t obey, who stress over the money in the bank account? What about those who are shy and too anxious to stand up for themselves or the ones who are trying to heal from toxic relationships or trauma?
The Message of the Bible Beatitudes
If we define blessings as happiness, then we miss the entire point Jesus makes in his section on the Beatitudes. Let’s read Matthew 5:1-12.
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them, saying: "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 pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
These blessings are so counter-cultural to what we believe today. Think about the great men and women of the Bible. Their lives weren’t easy. And yet God called them blessed.
We call those who have “the American dream” blessed. But God calls forgiven sinners blessed (Romans 4). He calls those who fear the Lord blessed (Psalm 112:1) and those who give rather than receive, blessed (Acts 20:35).
Living the Bible’s Beatitudes
If you haven’t been feeling “blessed” lately, maybe you need a new perspective on what the Bible says about true blessings. Let’s review each of the nine Beatitudes and see if you recognize yourself as blessed in any of the following:
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Are you feeling discouraged, unloved, or unseen? Then he sees you and is making a home for you in heaven! “God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.” -Hebrews 11:16
2. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Are you in a season of grief, repentance, or mourning the sins of others? Then he promises to comfort you in your time of need. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle and have recorded each one in your book.” – Psalm 56:8 (NLT)
3. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Are you gentle, humble, or low in status? Then you are the one God rewards! “But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” -Psalm 37:11
4. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Are you longing for justice in the world? Then he promises to make all things new and restore them to perfection! “He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write these words down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” – Revelation 20:5
5. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Are you forgiving and loving toward others? Then he calls you blessed and offers you the same kindness in return. “In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” -1 Peter 1:3
6. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Are you faithful in seeking goodness and following his example? Then he promises to welcome you into his kingdom! “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.'” Genesis 16:13
7. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Are you the one others go to for Godly advice? Then he has blessed you with wisdom to be a reflection of his character. “Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.” – James 3:18
8. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Are you pursuing a more holy and righteous way of living? Then he promises you his kingdom in heaven! “The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness.” -1 Samuel 26:23
9. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
Are you insulted because of your faith? Then he promises you a great reward! “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also…They will treat you this way because of my name.” -John 16:20-21
The Bible Beatitudes and Spiritual Growth
“Blessed” in the context of the Bible Beatitudes means the person has found favor and acceptance in the sight of God. Blessings are the fruit of a lowly situation (meekness) or need (mourning).
If you’re going through hardship right now, then expect blessings to come!
You may think this time in your life is a roadblock, but maybe it is the time when your biggest spiritual blessings can grow! Rejoice, for he calls you blessed!
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This week try to see the blessings found in the Bible Beatitudes all around you. What opportunities is God presenting to see his true blessings?
For more posts on Bible study, check out:
- Grab This Free Printable Spiritual Armor Cheat Sheet
- Why is the Day of Pentecost Important for Christians Today?
- Free Printable Lord’s Prayer: Decorate Your Home with this Powerful Prayer
- A Free Audio Bible Read By Women
- Digging Deeper: Essential Bible Study Resources for Women of Faith
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