"I am so blessed." How often have I said this when life is going exactly how I think it should go? When life is good? When a difficult situation works itself out? Or maybe I say this when I look at someone else who seems to have the perfect life. Nice house/car/boat/wife/kids/job… In our "stuff driven" society that's what "blessing" looks like, isn't it? But is blessing really just a distinction between the times when we "have" and those when we "have not?"
It seems to me that the blessing Jesus speaks about really has very little (if anything at all) to do with collecting stuff as a sign of blessing.
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
When I read this text it seems that "blessing" is much more about living in and experiencing the kingdom the God even in the face of poverty and persecution. It seems that blessing is receiving comfort in our mourning and mercy when we show mercy. We might say that blessing is freedom FROM suffering or hardship, but this text seems to say that blessing is freedom IN suffering or hardship. This doesn't mean that God somehow wills our suffering or causes hardship and trouble in our lives, but it does mean that when trouble or hardship comes (which it will), there is God… providing blessing and walking with us through our deepest times of need.