At Thanksgiving we usually focus on the things that we've been given, and for good reason. As promised, Jesus meets all our needs. But at one point in His ministry, Jesus described both the characteristics of a righteous person and He described what's in store for those citizens of His Kingdom.
In His call to a life of righteousness, Jesus taught:
. “God blesses those who are poor in spirit and who acknowledge their need for Him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs because of their trust in God.
. God blesses those who mourn for the sinful state of the nation and for the suffering and loss that comes with living in a fallen world, for as citizens of His Kingdom they will be comforted by God.
. God blesses those who are humble and who, like Jesus, shun pride in all its forms, for in the coming Kingdom it is the humble who will inherit the whole earth.
. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice and righteousness, who long to obey Jesus and who say with fervent passion, “Your will be done on earth and in my life,” for as citizens of God's Kingdom they will be fully satisfied.
. God blesses those who are merciful and who show kindness to those in distress, for God will show them mercy.
. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, those who do not rely on the trappings of tradition and ceremony to be right with God, for in the coming Kingdom it is the pure and humble and repentant who will see God.
. God blesses those who work for peace, who show an absence of hostility toward others and who work for the salvation of their enemies. Those who strive for justice, righteousness, reconciliation, and mercy as a natural effect of their salvation will be called children of God.
. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for expressing His grace to their enemies, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Jesus promises to meet our needs, and our greatest need; our soul's deepest longing is for a healed and forgiven relationship with Jesus, a relationship that expresses itself in a love for others.
Our real blessings, those things for which we need to be truly thankful can only be attained through Jesus who came to proclaim good news to the poor. He came to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, release from darkness for prisoners, and to comfort all who mourn.