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Foundations For Our Future #27

Foundations for Our Future (27) 

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler 

 

The beatitudes end with a remarkable declaration. There is nothing less than a glorious outcome for those who are “reviled and persecuted,” as followers of Jesus. They will receive a “reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:12). And the promise of that reward is to cause them to “rejoice and be glad.”

Many a disciple has begun his or her walk with Jesus through tears of repentance, but all those who are born again of the Spirit of God experience the gift of joy. It is common to be so wonderfully overcome by the goodness and mercy of God, that days, weeks and even months pass by in a state of mild euphoria. But that season comes to an end as we learn more and more of the truth that “the way is hard that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14).

Yet here, as he lays down the very beginning teachings for his disciples, the Lord opens a profound truth that we all must learn. There is marvelous and profound joy set before us. A joy that can even be ours in the midst of suffering. A joy that comes because we know the presence of the Lord now, and the certainty of our destination in him.

To be conformed to Christ is a matter of small steps, taken over a lifetime. Each day we are presented with opportunities to die to self and live to God. Pray for the grace to walk that narrow path today, with joy.