I woke up this morning feeling a sense of contentment and a thought rolled through my head, “Man I’m blessed.” Right away I began taking inventory: I have my right mind, my health, my family etc. But then the thought turned into a topic I’d like to blog about:
What does it mean to be blessed?
Most, if not all, of us think of blessings as little positive gifts from God. Like me with my “He woke me up this morning” thought. This is good, but does it encapsulate what it means to be blessed. In other words, if something not so positive comes my way does that mean I’m not blessed? If I don’t have a good job and I’m barely keeping my head above water, does that mean I’m not blessed? What about all the other challenging moments of life?
One exemplary example is found in Genesis chapter 37, starting at verse 12. It is the story of a young man (loved by his father) whose brother’s envy compelled them to sell him into slavery because he had a vision they misinterpreted. Little did they know their action would lead to their preservation at his hands years into the future. Their entire family was blessed because, of his misfortune; which God turned for his and their good. This is just one example of how being blessed doesn’t always mean the road is easy or things in life are favorable.
Being blessed means you and I have favor from God. In fact, it truly means we have an abundant increase of favor that’s directed by God personally. Every step of our lives is ordered by the Lord. Each circumstance; condition and situation works in concert to produce our ultimate blessing: To be forgiven of our sins. This may sound simple on its face, but think about it. We all want nice things:
I’m sure there’s more to add to the list, but you get the point. These are admirable and definitely worth having however; having things without having God is the height of vanity. Anyone can use their talent in the right environment and with optimum opportunity to achieve the accumulation of stuff. But, according to the Lord’s statement found in Mark 8:36:
“What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”
All things considered, it is far more admirable to seek after and apprehend what’s valuable to our soul. Don’t you think? The Lord’s words couldn’t be more important to ponder than now. We live in a material world and almost everyone is seeking more material. The problem is the material is going to vanish away. Then what will happen to all the stuff we spent our energy and intelligence to get? Here’s the lament of one of the richest and wisest men who ever lived; King Solomon. This is what he recorded in Ecclesiastes 5:13 – 15:
I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owners, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when they have children there is nothing left for them to inherit.
Everyone comes naked from their mother's womb, and as everyone comes, so they depart. They take nothing from their toil that they can carry in their hands.
There is nothing wrong with material gain so long as it is preceded by a quality relationship with the Giver of life. The Lord is not adverse to us having nice things in this world. In fact, He told us that material gain with godliness is a good thing i.e. “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the things the rest of the world seek after will be added to you besides.” It couldn’t be clearer: God wants us to be blessed with righteousness and material both.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with the following Scripture to think about found in the Book of Romans 4:8:
“Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them."