Life truly is a battle! There's a war going on for your soul, my soul, and the souls of our family and friends! Each day is full of it's own challenges / struggles. Life just gets messy!
Scripture says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God..." Ephesians 6 Last summer, we spent quite a bit of time, on this blog, talking about the full armor of God. If you have some time after reading this post, you can link here to THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD.
These struggles are also part of what teaches us and trains us in His service. Taking something difficult and using it for good is how God does things.
In the book, Christ of the Mount, written almost a century ago, E. Stanley Jones speaks about the vast array of things that we see in nature. Reading through his thoughts, I was able to see that just because I don't like mud shouldn't mean that will keep me from experiencing the muddy trail that leads to the most incredible view from the top of a hill.
Jones explains how the 9 Beatitudes are separated into groups of 3's. The groups give each other balance, purpose, and connection. We're working on the first group, discussing the first two, so far.
It does begin with an emptying of self... to offer ourselves in service to our King. Part of that emptying is understanding that it is our Heavenly Daddy's spirit / armor that will protect us and give us the strength and power to live each day.
Jones spoke of mourning,
"It means an active sharing and bearing
of the world's hurt and sin in order to cure it;
if it means the kind of mourning that Jesus manifested
when He wept over the city of Jerusalem,
if there is the passion of the sorrow of the cross in it,
then it is not an anti-climax,
but a necessary counterpart
(to now being in the kingdom of heaven).
The first beatitude without the second ends in
barren aloofness, but with it, it ends in fruitful attachment.
This verse cuts across those who would say that
religion is "an escape mentality... "
With the second beatitude it becomes a selfless hurting for all to become right with God.
"Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted."
Jesus understands! He weeps, too!
What Grace! Amazing!