Sometimes God’s blessings can be challenging. For example, we might not think that those who are meek and those who mourn are blessed. And we certainly wouldn’t celebrate the blessings of those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, would we? It’s even more challenging when we remember that the word “blessed” in Scripture could also be translated as “happy.” Would we think of those people as happy? Probably not, but God does.
Elijah the Tishbite might have picked different blessings also, I am sure. He gets to be the bearer of tidings that there will be drought and resulting famine until he says otherwise. He then is taken care of by the Lord only by drinking from a little stream, and eating food brought to him by birds as he fled for his life. His work was important, and he was taken care of, but was it in the way he might like? Probably not.
We have the same issue as we live out our Christian discipleship. We very often have to be bearers of an unpopular message, and trust in God’s providence to deliver us. We might speak up against abortion or, certainly, importantly in these days, against racism in every single one of its forms. Not everyone will agree with us and there is a price to be paid for that, in terms of our popularity or even comfort level in our discussions with others. But we disciples don’t get to pick the message we preach. As we witness with our lives to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we have to preach the whole of it, or else our preaching is diminished.
So it’s important for us to remember, I think, that while God never promises to make our lives free and easy, he does promise to bless us. He will bless us with whatever gifts we need to do the work he has called us to do, the work for which he formed us in our mother’s womb. We may be reasonably happy in this life, but the true happiness must come later. Our reward, which Jesus promises will be great, will surely be in heaven.