Links Daily Devotional

You Are Blessed

Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God… But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.” (Luke 6:20, 24, NIV 1984)

We have probably all experienced this at one point: Walking on to the golf course on a bright crisp morning, with good friends to play with. The smell of fresh grass, squirrels scurrying away as the first drives are hit. Then a few bad shots come around, double bogeys add up, and we walk away from the course feeling like we are “struggling” and had a “bad” day. Maybe we don’t even stay to have lunch with our friends because we are frustrated about our game. Didn’t Mark Twain say “golf is a good walk spoiled”?

But isn’t the reality that we are blessed to play this game? That to be in nature, enjoying God’s creation, is a blessing—no matter what our game looks like?

The reality of our life here on earth is a little bit like golf. This world has been spoiled by sin. It is not as it was originally designed to be. But through Christ a restoration awaits. Reading Luke 6, we find Jesus teaching his disciples about the reality of a life lived in light of the kingdom of heaven, regardless of what is going on in this world. If we look closely at what he is saying, however, it is difficult to make sense of it in today’s society. It takes discernment and wisdom to understand the kingdom of God. This is why Paul wrote in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Why on earth would you consider yourself blessed if you are poor and hungry, if you weep, and if people hate you and insult you because of Christ? That is not the “social” definition of blessing! And Jesus moved on to listing “woes” as well. Why would we say “woe is me” if we are comforted by our riches, well fed, laughing, and living with the approval of others?

This is upside-down teaching when we look at our human experience. But it is true teaching. Christ is reminding us that this world will pass away, and that the eternal life ahead is worth much more than this life. His words hold true because he is the Son of God. His words only make sense in our lives if he is most valued and precious to us. He is not saying that riches in themselves are a woe, but that satisfaction in them apart from him is meaningless and no real comfort.

What is an eternity in suffering compared to comfort in this life? Jesus calls us to live in light of the eternal life that awaits us. That is our reality. He comforts us with that truth in the midst of our sufferings. He assures us that when things seem to be going “wrong” in this world, it means nothing about the place he has prepared for us. That, in fact, we are blessed. This hope of eternal life with him is an ever-present blessing. Nothing can spoil this walk.

Isabelle Beisiegel

May 21, 2012

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The Links Daily Devotional appears Monday through Friday and is archived by passage and topic at www.linksplayers.com.