To Ponder:

blessed2The wicked may have many comforts and still he is cursed. The godly may have many crosses, yet still he is blessed. If the wicked has success and his path is smooth, yet there is still a curse upon him. All the curses of the Bible are his portion, and at the day of his death this debt is sure to be paid. But a godly man in the midst of all his miseries is blessed. He may be under the cross, but not under a curse. This shows the privilege of a believer. Blessedness has begun in him (Psa. 115:15). Let the condition of the righteous be ever so sad, yet he is blessed; he is blessed in affliction (Psa. 94:12), blessed in poverty (James 2:5), and blessed in disgrace; ‘the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you’ (1 Pet. 4:14). This is strong medicine for the fainting Christian; he is blessed in life and death. May not this take away the murmuring and melancholy from a child of God? Will you repine and be sad when you are blessed? Esau wept because he wanted the blessing, “Bless me, even me also, O my father.” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept’ (Gen. 27:38). But shall a child of God be immoderately cast down when he has the blessing? How evil it is to be blessed, and yet murmur! What an encouragement is this to godliness! Suppose a rich man would adopt another as his heir, and others reproached this heir. He wouldn’t care what others thought as long as he was heir. So also, others may reproach you for your faith; no matter, as long as it includes a blessing for you. The very day you become godly, you become blessed. This is a sacred paradox in our Saviour’s sermon; poverty begets riches, mourning begets joy, and persecution begets happiness: ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matt. 5:10). (Thomas Watson 1620-1686 “The Beatitudes”)

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