God promises a special blessing. A sacred delight. It’s not a gimmick to give goose bumps or a mental attitude that has to be pumped up. No, Jesus describes God’s radical reconstruction of the heart in what are called the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12).

Observe the sequence in the Beatitudes: [NOTE]

We recognize we are in need — we're poor in spirit.

Next, we repent of our self-sufficiency — we mourn.

We quit calling the shots — we’re meek.

We are so grateful for his presence that we yearn for more — we hunger and thirst.

We forgive others — we’re merciful.

We change our outlook — we’re pure in heart.

We love others — we’re peacemakers.

We endure injustice — we’re persecuted.

It’s no casual shift of attitude. It is a demolition of the old and a creation of the new. The more radical the change, the greater the joy. And it is worth every effort, for this is the joy of God!

This is a special blessing and a sacred delight.

This is a special blessing and a sacred delight.


Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said:

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 children 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.

(Matthew 5:1—13 NIV11)

From The Applause of Heaven

© Max Lucado.

Used by permission.

All rights reserved.