” Aaaaachiew…..Bless you “.
Haven’t understood how sneezing confers blessings upon someone. I’m only sure the Covid -19 Pandemic must have changed the tide on sneezing. But that’s not my concern today.
” Blessed ” is a term we use too often, but what is its true meaning? We pray God to bless our family. We talk about people, families, individuals and ministries being blessed. But what does it really mean? How should we understand the blessing of God?
For most people including believers, blessed life is synonymous with a successful life. A loving marriage, obedient children, a vibrant ministry, a healthy body, a successful career, trusted friends, financial abundance, alot of wealth. All are just but a few elements of a blessed life in our generation.
On the contrary, lack of the same qualifies you to be termed ” not blessed”. You can’t be called fully blessed in our generation until you are married, have a good career with good income, acquired a good car, a good family, a good house.
For most of us, blessings means an overwhelming and ever-increasing prosperity, a life made up of things, things, and more things, a success judged by an ever- higher level of material abundance. This imparts pressure on most people pushing them to use all means to acquire these ‘blessings’. For most people, the pursuit of God is a means to the above blessings.
So that I’m not misunderstood, I also agree that God does give us material things to enjoy and we should ask Him for such. There are however higher, better and lasting blessings that we should pursue and their pursuit should consume us foremost.
One translation of the New Testament (ESV) has 112 references with the words bless, blessing, or blessed, none of which connect blessing to material prosperity. Consider these passages:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . Blessed are those who mourn . . . . Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake . . . Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:3–11 )
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” ( Luke 11:28 )
Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven. ( Romans 4:7 ; quoting Psalm 32:1 )
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial. ( James 1:12)
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. . . . Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” ( Revelation 14:13 , 19:9 )
In the new testament blessing is not typically connected with materialism but with the spiritual benefits of being joined by faith to Jesus. According to the Key-Word Study Bible, “The Greek word translated blessed in these passages is “makarioi ‘ which means TO BE FULLY SATISFIED. It refers to those receiving God’s favor, REGARDLESS OF THE CIRCUMSTANCES” .
What is blessing, then?
Scripture shows that BLESSING IS ANYTHING GOD GIVES THAT MAKES US FULLY SATISFIED IN HIM. ANYTHING THAT DRAWS US CLOSER TO JESUS. Anything that helps us relinquish the temporal and hold on more tightly to the eternal. And often it is the struggles and trials, the aching disappointments and the unfulfilled longings that best enable us to do that.
My desire for God is greatly fueled by my need. And it is in the areas of loss where I feel my need most intensely. Unmet desires keep me on my knees. Deepen my prayer life. Make me ransack the Bible for God’s promises.
Pain and loss transform us. While they sometimes unravel us, they can also push us to a deeper life with God than we ever thought possible. They make us rest in God alone. Not what we can do or achieve for him. And not what he can do or achieve for us.
In pain and loss, we long for Presence. We long to know that God is for us and with us and in us. Great families, financial wealth, and good health are all wonderful gifts we can thank God for, but they are not his greatest blessings. They may make us delight, not in God, but in His gifts.
God’s greatest blessing always rests in God Himself. When we have that, we are truly blessed .
So are you blessed today?
In the same breath, allow me to pray that you have a truly blessed moment with your family!!