We can use “happy” or “joyful” instead of “blessed” in Matthew 5:3-10 -> “Blessed/happy/ joyful are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Joyful are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Happy are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Joyful are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Happy are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Here Jesus speaks about a different, genuine kind of joy which the world struggles to accept. The list seems to focus on those whom we think cannot normally be joyful, e.g., those who are poor in spirit or who mourn or are hungry or persecuted. How can such folk be joyful?
We think that happiness is getting our own way or owning many material possessions or being popular. Being poor in spirit does nor mean we are materially poor, but rather that we recognise our complete unworthiness and our dependence upon God and His loving grace and forgiveness.
Yes, many are physically hungry in the world, but dear Jesus also meant that we should hunger after righteousness. Those who mourn may also be grieving over their sins as they long to be right with God and free from sin and its consequences.
Those who mourn are happy because they are comforted. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness are glad. Why? Because they will be fed and filled with Christ’s mercy and love as they seek and find Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You that your idea of true joy is different from ours. Thank You that You set a much higher standard for us, so that we can become mature and complete as we focus on Your directives to true happiness and sincere joy. Thank You that happy, joyful people are comforted, satisfied and recipients of Your loving mercy. Help us to be “pure in heart” so that we will see You one day in heaven. Amen