Have You Been Blessed?

Have You Been Blessed?

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The value of Bitcoin today is just shy of $19,000. However, in November of 2021, it was nearly $70,000. If someone sold a few Bitcoin then I am sure they felt blessed. 

In 2010 Martina McBride wrote the song ‘Blessed‘, which included the following lyrics, “I get kissed by the sun each morning…, I get to hear my children laughing. I thank God for all I’ve been given…I have been blessed with so much more than I deserve…”

Her lyrics adopt the world’s view on blessings. If you are blessed, you are happy, healthy, understood, appreciated, loved, admired, athletic, and wealthy, but is this the biblical view on blessings? 

The Beatitudes

Take a look at the Beatitudes which means blessedness. 

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…

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you…((Kim, Jay. “Joy Instead of Comparison.” Analog Christian, Intervarsity Press, 2022, p. 42))

Blessed are those who are persecuted? Blessed are those who mourn? That does not sound like a blessing to me. 

Nevertheless, I have had several experiences in the last few years that, at first glance, were not something I would have called a blessing. Some things are impossible to change, short of a miracle, but now I see many of them were a blessing despite the pain and anguish. I have heard the same from many friends who have navigated difficult times and loss but then expressed and shared the blessing from it.  

Those Blessed Get The Girl

Another songwriter, Thomas Rhett wrote these words in 2019 to his song ‘Blessed.’

“Watching you spin in that dress

Making my heart beat out my chest

I can’t count the times I’ve heard

People say I’m lucky

But lucky ain’t the word, oh, I’m blessed”

Rhett sings about a girl in his life that looks good, spinning in a dress, and he equates that to being blessed. Like Rhett, most believe our life’s circumstances determine how blessed or happy we are. Consequently, we spend a lot of time and money working toward that goal of being happy, and when we are happy, we are also blessed. They go hand in hand. 

At times it seems God is dropping these nuggets of happiness in our life to show that He loves us and wants to bless us. But finding the right spouse, having a good job, health and wealth does not necessarily mean you are blessed.

Jay Kim wrote “Analog Christian” and reflected on what it means to be blessed and how the world and many Christians confuse being blessed with being happy and often use them synonymously. 

Kim pointed out that there are more than 140,000,000 Instagram posts with the hashtag “blessed” and it is no surprise that almost all are of attractive people smiling with some beautiful backdrops. 

Indeed, God does bless us in those ways, but is that the only meaning of being blessed? Could it mean something more profound that can’t be seen on the surface? For example, have you ever experienced a blessing that came from difficult circumstances or tragedy in your life? 

Kim quoted theologian Rodney Reeves, “We often operate with the presumption that blessings are meant for our happiness. But Jesus didn’t see it that way at all; blessings are more important than that.”1

Types Of Blessings

You will find three types of blessings in scripture.

  • God to Man
  • Man to God
  • Man to Man

In Genesis 1:28, you will find the first appearance of blessing. “God blessed them and God said to them, “Be fertile and increase, fill the earth and master it.” Much more could be said, but one reoccurring theme of blessings is previously barren women having children. So fertility should be considered a blessing from God, not a characteristic of nature. 

Blessings of man to God take the form of praise to God. For example, thanking Him for events that have taken place. In the Psalms, you will read, “May God be blessed.” or some form of that adoration. Psalm 66:20, for example, you will find this type of blessing commonly in Psalms and Proverbs. It should be noted that man does not, or should not bless God to prompt further blessings, but to simply thank Him for what he has already done. 

Finally, man to man blessings can often be a greeting, salutation, or at the end of a meeting when someone may wish or pray that God will bless them as He does others. In Genesis, you will find scenes when an aging father blessed his children, a common practice in the Near East. These types of blessings were often considered binding wills for the surviving children. 

Mercy and Grace

A blessing is not the result of accumulating material things, nor is it defined as health with flawless white teeth (Joel Osteen comes to mind) or wealth with the latest 2022 eighty-grand F-150 with all the bells and whistles. Instead, it’s God’s divine favor that comes in the form of God’s protection and provisions. But more than that, God’s blessing comes in the form of His everlasting divine mercy and grace. If not for what His Son had done for us, the free gift of salvation, all the health and wealth would add up to nothing, just ashes, and dust. 

In difficult times I remind myself of this. Some things in my life I have no control over and can’t change. I have to accept the way things are and be thankful despite the proverbial thorn in my side. 

When life is demanding and challenging, I make a habit of counting my blessings the moment I wake up. I thank God for not only what I have, but what I have lost. You may not see the reasons for your circumstances, but ultimately you will, and He promises we will be comforted. 

Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4:11-13 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

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Have You Been Blessed? by James W Glazier is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Reeves, Rodney, Matthew, The Story of God Commentary, MI. Grand Rapids, Zondervan Academic 2017, pg 143 []

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