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BLESSED What do you think of when someone says that they are "blessed?" According to the world, we are blessed when everything is going our way and we have no trials/tribulations. According to the world, we are blessed when we are climbing the ladder of success, when we are prosperous, have man's approval, status, and all of our dreams come true.

In God's Kingdom, according to Matthew 5, we are blessed when we are poor in spirit or are humble. We are blessed when we mourn or have lost the thing that is most dear to us. We are blessed when we are meek, when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, when we are merciful, are pure in heart, maintainers of peace, and are persecuted for righteousness sake. This couldn't be more opposite of what the world defines as being blessed.

Matthew 5:3 in the MSG version says, "You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you, there is more of God and his rule." Matthew 5:4 MSG says, "You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the ONE most dear to you."

We are blessed when we humble ourselves before God and recognize our need for Him, allowing Him to become greater and ourselves to become less (John 3:30). We are blessed when we admit our brokenness. Our humility of brokenness actually draws us closer to God. It's only then that we can experience His presence, comfort, and joy. James 4:6 says, "God opposes the proud and haughty, but gives grace (continually) to the lowly (those who are humble enough to revive it)."

We can't know God's presence, comfort, and joy without suffering. When everything is going our way, we humans think that we don't need God. It's in those times of trials and suffering that we come to the end of ourselves and realize how much we need Him. It was in the most difficult times in my life that I've felt the closest to God but it wasn't because He finally came to was because I went to Him. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." (James 4:8)

We tend to think that the highest place to be is on a mountaintop with no problems and everything going our way. That is not true according to God's Word. According to Habakkuk 3:19, it says that our high places are trouble, suffering, and responsibility.

"The Lord is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds feet and will make me to walk (not to stand still in terror) and make spiritual progress upon my high places (of trouble, suffering, or responsibility)!" (Habakkuk 3:19)

We need to allow our difficulties to help us develop hinds' feet. When we have hinds' feet, we will not stand still in terror but will walk and make spiritual progress in whatever we go through. It's easy to quit in hard times; it takes faith to go through them. God wants to strengthen you and help you make spiritual progress as you rely on Him.

This life is not about getting what "we" want like our selfish nature tells us. It's about whole-heartedly submitting ourselves to Jesus Christ and surrendering our wills to Him in order to serve Him and others for His purpose and His glory.

Romans 14:17 says, "(After all) the kingdom of God is not a matter of (getting the) food and drink (one likes), but instead it is righteousness (that state which makes a person acceptable to God), peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit."

As you humble yourself before the Lord and realize your brokenness, you will not only draw closer to God but your life will be changed and you will then be able to help change other's lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. When we empty ourselves of us, then God can finally fill us with Him - His righteousness, peace and joy. Before you pray for God to fill you up with His precious Holy Spirit; ask Him to help you empty yourself first. Trust will be BLESSED! 😊

Your Sister in Christ, Amber Cunningham

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