Read: Matt. 5:1-12

Jesus taught that the world seen from God’s perspective is biased in favour of the oppressed. This emerges in the Sermon on the Mount and other statements of Jesus: the first will be last (Matt. 19:30; Mark 10:31; Luke 13:30), and he who humbles himself will be exalted (Luke 14:11; 18:14). But why would God allow this to be so?

  1. Suffering helps us realise our serious need for redemption.
  2. Suffering helps us experience our dependence and trust on God and interdependence with one another.
  3. Suffering helps us distinguish between necessities and luxuries.
  4. Suffering helps us respond to the call of the gospel because we may have become so desperate that we cry out to God.

The poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those who suffer are blessed (Matt. 5:3-6) because their lack of self-sufficiency is obvious to them each day. They must turn somewhere for strength. People who are rich, successful, and beautiful may go through life relying on their natural gifts and trusting in themselves. But people who are needy, dependent, and dissatisfied with life are more likely to welcome God’s help and free gift of love.

Jesus Himself said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:3). And Paul the apostle said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). It is only when we trust in God’s grace that we are strongest. The weaker we feel, the harder we lean on God.

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