10. Matthew 5:1-12
Matthew chapter five begins Jesus 'Sermon on the Mount.' Jesus seeing the crowds following him goes up on the side of a mountain, sits down and begins to teach. He starts with a series of sorta-encouraging proverbs that we call the 'Beatitudes.' I say sorta-encouraging because they include terms like 'poor' and 'mourn,' 'meek' and 'hunger.' The word translated 'blessed' in most english translations is the Greek word makarios which means 'fortunate' or 'lucky' or even 'happy.' Happy to be poor, meek, mourning and hungry? The end of this passage Jesus even says that we should be makarios, or happy when we are persecuted. Why? Because we are then in good company. Like those great prophets from the Old Testament.
We should be happy when we face trials, and persecution because through them we are connected to those great prophets who endured the same in the name of God. Happy because we can walk the same soil as these holy forefathers. Happy to be a part of and connected to this same kingdom. Happy.