It is true to say that our perceptions shape our reality. Being blessed is a statement that is perceived differently by different people, especially in this day and age. If you were to ask random people what it means to be blessed, you would get all manner of answers. For some it would mean financial freedom, for others, it would mean driving a good car, having a good family, living in a palatial home, and so forth.
When we study the beatitudes in Mathew 5, we discover a whole new level of blessedness. The amplified Bible gives us some deep insights into the word blessed. Check it out;
Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy! (Mathew 5:7, AMPC)
To be blessed by the Lord is to live in a state of happiness, joy, satisfaction, and spiritual prosperity. The state of blessedness is within and it is regardless of the outward conditions. This is the opposite of what most people understand as being blessed.
If you look at the people that Jesus called blessed in the beatitudes, you will realize that he was not referring to today’s interpretation of the word. Check it out;
- Blessed are the poor in spirit
- Blessed are those who mourn
- Blessed are the meek
- Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
- Blessed are the merciful
- Blessed are the pure in heart
- Blessed are the peacemakers
- Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness
These are the qualities of the blessed person. And most of these qualities are a direct opposite of what we would generally consider blessed in today’s definition of the word. For instance, someone who is meek is often considered as weak. But in scripture, meekness is never a sign of weakness. Jesus, the son of God himself, was the meekest of all. And he was blessed.
Like in most societies, the people in the time of Jesus were actively pursuing material possessions (Mathew 6:32a). And that is why Jesus took time to teach them about being blessed. He wanted them to know that being blessed was not just about having money and possessions.
The problem with focusing on possessions is they can easily become idols. And we see a good example of this in the rich young ruler who came to Jesus asking for what he needed to do to enter God’s kingdom. Jesus discerned that his problem was he had made his wealth his god. So, Jesus told him to sell everything and give the proceeds to the poor. On hearing this, “he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he owned much property” (Mark 10:22). Can you imagine missing out on heaven because of your love for earthly wealth?
Don’t make the same mistake the rich young ruler made. Don’t be so preoccupied with the blessings of God that you forget the God of the blessings.
Do you have all the possessions you need in this life? Would you call yourself blessed?
Father in heaven, thank you for calling me blessed. I pray that you will help me to walk in the light of your word so that I may reflect the qualities you outline in the beatitudes. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Blessings to you,
John & Jean