40 Days with Jesus – October 17th – Luke 6:20-26
In Jacksonville, Florida USA we’re not used to seasons very much. We have lots of summer, a little fall and spring, and, what seems like to anyone who’s lived north of Florida, a week of winter. Of course to Jacksonville natives it seems like winter starts at 75 degrees and lasts way too long. But a lot of life is about seasons: seasons of happiness, seasons of tragedy, seasons of success, and seasons of struggling. One seems to pass into the other. And just like seasons of weather, seasons of life have things that change and things that remain the same. While the temperature may go up and down, there are still storms in each season (maybe milder in one and stronger in another) and sun in each season. I think seasons are a good description of what Jesus is talking about in this passage:
“God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man” Luke 6:20-22
First notice that in each statement Jesus makes we can see a now and a then. You may be going through some difficult times now, but understand that they are a season. They may be a Florida summer that seems to last forever, but Jesus promises blessings await afterward. Now he doesn’t say when, it could be here or in heaven, it could be tomorrow or in 10 years, but he does say that everything in life, both good and bad, is seasonal and changes.
Second notice that in each statement the word “blesses” is present tense. So even though there are blessings waiting at the end, there is also the sense that there are blessings where you are right now in the midst of a bad season. They are not the ones you may be looking and longing for, but they include God’s presence and hope to face hardship. In the very first sentence he makes it clear that blessing from God is available now “the kingdom of God is yours.” That may not be what a poor person was looking for (they wanted money!), but it is what God has blessed them with for now.
Whatever season of life you find yourself in today, I pray God will help you realize two things about it: it is temporary (and if it’s a good one, that should humble and prepare you for what’s next, if it’s a bad one, it should encourage you to hang in there) but God is constantly with you.
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