I have always struggled to understand the beatitude verses in Matthew 5. What did they mean and how did they apply to me? My brother, a pastor, helped me understand that these verses are a beautiful and comprehensive description of a true believer. I thought some of you may appreciate this, too:
1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “ Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
**Those who know they are terrible sinners. They are well aware of the fact that they can never measure up to God’s standards by their own efforts or on their own merit.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
**Those who mourn deeply because they know they can never measure up…mourning because there is no possibility of reconciliation with God on their own merit.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
**Those who submit their lives to Christ. Who obey His commands and walk faithfully with Him.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
**Those who continue to learn and grow in Christ. Who want to get to know Him more deeply.
7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
**Those who love others. Who treat others the way they would want to be treated.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
**Those who walk in purity. Work hard at keeping themselves as far away from sin as possible.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
**Not the world’s peace, but bringing the peace of God to this world by sharing the gospel.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
**Being persecuted for sharing the gospel and living a righteous life.
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I know that this really helped me understand this passage. I hope that it helps you, too.