Are You Blessed?

10 Jan

When I talk to people in our community, sometimes people will say “I’m blessed.” When I talk to fellow pastors they will often say, “Our church is blessed.” What both the people and the pastors usually mean is that things are going well. They are at peace or some good news has come their way. The church is growing or the budget is good. And I think my own sense of blessedness is too often linked to whether everything is going smoothly, whether people like me, whether I am healthy and the bank account is sufficient. How different from the description of blessedness Jesus gave.

Has the church in general and Christians in particular bought into a definition of blessedness that is at odds with Jesus? Certainly, our culture has bought the definition, but so has the church. Notice what Jesus says is blessed in Matthew 5–

1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down, his disciples came to him.
2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Mt 5:1–12). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Meditate on these truths from Matthew 5 today (Ps. 1:2-3) and see your heart be transformed over time to lay down the weak, flimsy, temporary blessedness of this world for the rock-solid blessedness of the kingdom that comes through suffering and waiting and ends with rejoicing, now and eternally.

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