Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
In the Sermon on the Mount… what Jesus promises is not a gimmick to give us goose bumps nor a mental attitude that has to be pumped up at pep rallies. No, Matthew 5 describes God's radical reconstruction of the heart. Observe the sequence. First, 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 and surrender control to God (we're meek). So grateful are we for His presence that we yearn for more of Him (we hunger and thirst). As we grow closer to Him, we become more like Him. We forgive others (we're merciful). We change our outlook (we're pure in heart). We love others (we're peace-makers). We endure injustice (we're persecuted for righteousness' sake).
It's no casual shift of attitude. It is a demolition of the old structure and a creation of the new. The more radical the change, the greater the joy (Amen). And it's worth every effort, for this is the joy of God (Hallelujah).
This devotional was taken from Grace For The Moment.