Staying Strong

Ray Hinton found a strength that helped him endure thirty years of injustice without being consumed by rage. Art Blakey found the strength to respond to harm in a way that helped his attacker change. Neither found this strength through self-will alone. Rain poured into their lives, streams rose, and winds blew against them, yet they survived their trials by putting the words of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount into practice (Matthew 7:24–25).

Like them, we may face seasons of rain pelting our windows and thunder rattling our roofs, when winds of loss, betrayal, or our own wrong choices leave us battered. Jesus never said we’d be spared the storms of life, but he is present with us when they come (8:23–27). And as the findings of contemporary psychology confirm, the teaching in his Sermon can give us the foundation we need to withstand their gusts and grow through them.

A healthy heart, significant achievement, strong relationships, a sense of meaning. In Jesus’ reign, such things aren’t reserved for those with resources or status; they’re given to seemingly weak and insignificant people with hands ready to receive them. Christ’s Sermon provides the tools, and his Spirit provides the power for little people like us to grow strong.

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