I was reading through Matthew again and came to the 5th chapter and what is commonly known as the Beatitudes. I am sure I have read this passage hundreds of times and have always taken it to say that being 'poor in spirit', or mourning, or meek, etc. where attributes that would be rewarded and thence something that we should strive for.
But this past time through it, something triggered in the gray matter and got me to rethinking what Jesus is saying here. Could it be that this is not a call to become like those who are called blessed here. After all, Jesus says nothing negative about those who are not these things. There is no contrast here at all between poor and rich, mourning and happy, or persecuted and not persecuted.
Could it be that Jesus is talking to people who where characterized by these things, and he is telling them that the state they are in is only temporary; that better things are coming? That rather than be discouraged when difficult times come, that one should endure and see the Lord's blessing that will come in the end.
My time in this tent is short. And sometimes the rains come, sometimes the bears steal my food, sometimes the trail is rocky and steep. Don't be discouraged, don't give in to despair, don't give up the fight. Instead, be happy because the tent will be replaced with a permanent dwelling, the rain will bring beauty, the trail will end at the mountain top. Stick it out and see what the Lord has prepared for those who love him and who have walked with him.