5 1-2 When Jesus saw His ministry drawing huge crowds, He climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to Him, the committed, climbed with Him. Arriving at a quiet place, He sat down and taught His climbing companions. This is what he said:
3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and His rule.
4 You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
5 You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.
6 You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
7 You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.
8 You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.
9 You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
10 You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort, and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble."
Salt and Light
13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
14-16 Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven."
We don’t like discomfort, pain, sorrow; quite often we try and run from it instead of running to it. But here in Matthew 5:1-16, He says: It is good to be at the end of our rope, when we have lost someone or something dear to us, when we are content with who we are, when we have a good appetite for God, when we care for others, when our inside world, our chaos, our mind and heart are put right with God, when we forgive and reconcile and when we are persecuted. It is in these times that we are truly blest, we see and get to know our Heavenly Father/Jesus a bit deeper and the holy spirit counsels and comforts us in our distress, discomfort, and pain. It is a time of growth and an opportunity to mature and deepen our friendship with our triune God.
These two crosses were given to me with a card, saying “these two crosses are little gift, not expensive but if it wasn’t for CCP, two crosses like these would be on the side of the road, one for me and one for my daughter.” They have a home on my desk to remind me why l do what I do, and to constantly remind me it is nothing of myself but it is our Lord Jesus Christ who does what He does. It is such a privilege to be invited into people’s lives, it’s like standing on holy ground.
Jesus is at the heart of Connections Counselling Perth. I unashamedly make known that we are a Christ centred professional counselling and psychology service. “We are a light bringing out the God colors in the world.” It is our triune God who restores, heals, reconciles, makes the blind see, and takes a heart that is sin sick and washes it as white as snow, we are just a vessel that God chooses to use.
You may also read our blog Vulnerability, Solitude and Surrender