James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”
Deuteronomy 28:2-8 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.
The first thing I do when I wake up every morning is pray and thank God for the many blessings He has given me. I call out my petitions of worries and concerns over sick and lost loved ones, and I spend a few minutes with God before I start the chaos that will surely soon begin as soon as my feet hit the floor. Just before I go to sleep each night, I end my day in much the same way that I begin it: praising and praying. Each day, I think about the blessings in my life, and I give God all of the glory. I recognize that without Him, I would have nothing. I would not exist. I don’t ever want to forget that I am who I am and I have what I have strictly because of the grace of God. It’s true, I have worked very hard to get to where I am in life today, but I didn’t arrive here on my own. All honor and glory goes to God.
Today, I woke up thinking about what it means to be blessed. Miriam Webster defines blessed as: 1) held in reverence, honored in worship; 2) of or enjoying happiness; 3) bringing pleasure, contentment, or good fortune. A few years ago, a pastor defined blessed as “feeling God’s presence in our lives.” According to the Key-Word Study Bible, “The Greek word translated blessed…is makarioi which means to be fully satisfied. It refers to those receiving God’s favor, regardless of the circumstances.” Scripture reveals to us that a blessing is anything that God gives us that make us fully satisfied in Him.
Whoa! Wait just a minute! A blessing is anything that makes us fully satisfied in God? What about our homes, cars, jobs, bank accounts, and our families. Aren’t all those things blessings from God? I thank Him for those blessings every day. I know that I wouldn’t have them without God blessing me with them so they are blessings, right? It’s true, those are blessings too. The problem is when we start boasting in our own selves and taking credit for our accomplishments without giving God the glory. But think about this for a moment. Many times we only see the blessings in the collection of “things” we have acquired through the years, but we forget about the blessings of seeing God in every circumstance and situation.
A true blessing is anything that draw us closer to our Lord and Savior. A blessing is anything that helps us to let go of the temporal things and grab on tightly to those things that are eternal. Many times, it takes a struggle, a loss, a major illness, or a difficult trial for us to let go of the temporal and reach for the eternal. When things are going our way and everything is coming up roses, we start to pat our selves on the back and praise our own accomplishments, but when we start to feel those thorns, who do we run to? We run to Christ! It is in those times of difficult circumstances that we recognize the sovereignty and power of our Savior, and we cling to Him. And in those moments, we feel the presence of our Lord. When we truly feel the presence of the Lord, we know the meaning of being blessed.
We must recognize that everything we have comes from God. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) I’ve often heard the expression, “If you woke up this morning with only the things you thanked God for last night, what would you have left?” We must thank Him for everything. Every gift is from above. Do you feel the presence of God in your life today? If you do, you know the true definition of a blessing. If you are struggling, and you don’t feel His presence, He is not far away. Call out to the Father. He wants to bless you too!