The most frequently used word in the Christian’s vocabulary is blessed. “Have a blessed day,” “blessed to be a blessing,” and “God bless you” are just a few of the ways we put it to use. It’s even common among unbelievers to describe themselves as “blessed.” Some people think of blessed as a spiritual term for “good fortune,” like when we receive something good, the desired outcome, or an exceptional comfort. But what does it mean to be blessed?

Definition of Blessed

The Greek word often translated as “blessed” is makarios, which means fortunate, happy, enlarged, or lengthy. Makarios is used in the Septuagint, a translation of the Old Testament into the Greek language, and the New Testament to define the kind of happiness that comes from receiving favor from God. Consequently, the word can also translate to favored. The New Testament usually carries the meaning of being blessed by God. Luke 1:42-45 describes Mary, the mother of Jesus, as blessed among women. It was the Lord God who had blessed and favored her. While material blessings are certainly included in God’s favor, the Bible attributes a much fuller meaning to the word blessed.

Perhaps the most well-known use of the word blessed in the Bible is in the Beatitudes, found in Matthew and Luke. Jesus used the term blessed in the framework of the Beatitudes to describe the inner quality of a faithful servant of God. This blessedness is a spiritual state of well-being and prosperity, deep, joy-filled contentment that cannot be shaken by poverty, grief, famine, persecution, war, or any other trial or tragedy we face in life. In human terms, the situations depicted in the Beatitudes are far from blessings, but because God is present with us through these difficult times, we are blessed by Him in them.

The faithful servant of God is blessed, regardless of circumstances, because God has favored them with a delighted soul, described in Psalm 63:1-5. The material things we crave can never bring genuine happiness or contentment. True fulfillment can only be found in a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

How the Bible Measures Blessings

The Bible measures blessedness differently from how people of the world measure it. James 1:12 says 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. To those who rest in God, He grants an inner state of joy unaffected by external trials. What is this promised “crown of life?” It is the never-ending, victorious life in the world to come, where God will end all trials. However, 1 Corinthians 2:9 reminds us that the marvelous blessings we experience now are minor compared to the benefits God has stored up for us in His eternal kingdom.

The one who is blessed trusts in God’s love no matter what. Romans 8:35-39 reminds us that nothing can ever separate us from God and His love, not misfortune, persecution, or hunger. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow, not even the powers of hell, can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below. Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

What it Means to Be Blessed

Blessed speaks of our inner state of well-being, the prosperity of our souls in Christ. Blessedness comes from unhindered fellowship with God the Father through our Lord Jesus. To be blessed is to experience the full impact of God’s presence in our lives now and for all eternity. In Christ, we are loved, chosen, redeemed, forgiven, freed, sanctified, and promised an eternal inheritance with all the riches, glories, and character of our Savior.

For the glory of God, we are blessed. May we all assert how truly blessed we are as we see Christ working himself more deeply in us, even through circumstances that seem far from being blessings. For it is better to be desperately poor and weak in the eyes of the world and eternally blessed in the glory of Christ than to be abundantly blessed in earthly measures and found naked and needy before the judgment seat of Christ.

Let’s fix our eyes on the incredible inheritance that God guaranteed us whenever we start grieving over what we’ve lost, when we long for things to be made right and when we groan in these earthly bodies. If that remains our focus, we will never have a reason to despair. The grieving we experience on earth will make our eternal inheritance all the more beautiful.

The way human beings experience God’s blessing changes with the redemptive storyline that spans the significant peaks of creation, fall, redemption, and final restoration.

However, blessing always flows out of God’s benevolent creative design for his creatures and coincides with obedience to his will. Some people believe that being blessed means you have a lot of material possessions, and you’re rich. However, being blessed has less to do with material possessions and more to do with how we are inside.

Being blessed means that God has looked down upon you with favor and mercy. He’s looked past all of your faults and mistakes and loved you anyway. Yes, God can bless us with material things, but He cares more about our spirit and hearts. Still, it’s important to remember that God can give blessings, but He can also take them away. When we receive our blessings, it’s best to remain humble and grateful because God can put us back where we were in no time. Being blessed isn’t about what you have, but it’s about who you are on the inside and how God chooses to reward your behavior.

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