I'm (Not?) Blessed
As I greeted a fellow passenger in the elevator the other day, she replied, “I’m blessed!” I will be honest, I sometimes get caught off guard when someone says that. I don’t know how to respond. Cool? Me, too? I get what they’re saying. They are grateful for the goodness in their life that they attribute to God’s hand. But blessed isn’t the same thing as grateful, thankful, happy, or joyful. Though, we often think of them as synonymous with "blessed," don’t we? When we aren’t feeling very appreciative for our circumstances, we begin to think that God is no longer blessing us. I’ve been guilty of this. When life is great and easy, we consider the goodness a sign of God’s blessing. But what about when you lose a loved one? Or you relapse? Or you don’t get that promotion you thought was in the bag? Here’s the truth: these tough circumstances are not an indication that you have lost God's blessing or His presence in your life.
If you allow your circumstances to dictate your perception of God’s blessing, you will always feel alone in the hardest moments of life rather than knowing God is with you in the pit. You will believe instead that He has abandoned you and taken away His blessing.
I’m blowing the whistle on these destructive and misleading ideas about being blessed. Friends, if you want a better understanding of God’s blessing, look no further than the Bible. When I read God’s word to learn what it means to be blessed, two passages stick out to me. The first is in Psalm 1 and the second is found within Jesus’ sermon on the mount.
| “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on His law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
There is nothing written in that passage saying... blessed is the one who has the highest GPA, or the biggest home, or the more talented child. If you want to be truly blessed, then delight yourself in God’s ways, meditate on His word, and avoid sin. Ultimately, we are blessed when we make God the center of our life instead of living for ourselves.
Take a look at this humbling passage that Jesus spoke giving us a better look at who the blessed ones are.
"Jesus said: 'Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.'" (Matthew 5:2-12)
When I read this, I am struck with the intensity of being blessed. Mourn? Meek? Persecuted? Being the blessed one means you aren't always on a "feel good" route. Being the blessed one means you live for the Spirit, not your flesh. There is nothing easy about being blessed, but when you take this road less traveled to live for Jesus, you will never regret it.
I hope you can find peace knowing that your difficult situations are not God's way of letting you know that you are no longer blessed. If you are looking for God's blessing in your life, look no further than being pure in heart or poor in spirit. You'll find His blessing when you make peace and are persecuted because of righteousness. You are the blessed one when you seek His kingdom first. And regardless of your earthly circumstances, you can rejoice because there is a great reward in heaven waiting for you who have given your heart and your life to Him.
Author: Pamela Palmer