“Blessed is the man who perseveres under toil, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12
We’ve all seen the social media posts (and maybe even posted them ourselves) – the perfect bluebird powder day with good friends at a favorite resort. #Blessed. Both Christian and mainstream culture takes the blessed definition of “divine favor” very literally and applies it to pretty much anything that goes our way. Promotion at work? #blessed. Dream vacation? #blessed. Saw a double rainbow? #blessed. Got a tax return so can finally replace the leaky dishwasher? #blessed (or maybe that is just me…).
But take a look at scripture, and none of the “blessed” has to do with circumstances, but with our heart and actions toward God and others.
- Blessed are those whose strength is the Lord… (Psalm 84:5)
- Blessed is he who has regard for the weak… (Psalm 41:1)
- Blessed are all who take refuge in Him… (Psalm 2:12)
- Blessed is the man who finds wisdom.. (Proverbs 3:13)
Jesus continues the blessed theme in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. The Blessed are the meek, the mourning, the peacemakers, the pure in heart. He even says blessed are those who are persecuted! We are truly blessed when the focus of our heart is not on ourselves, but on Jesus and those he has placed in our lives.
All the instances of “blessed” in scripture are followed by a promise. The blessings he promises us are greater than any powder day – He promises us that ours is the Kingdom of Heaven! Now that deserves a #blessed.
- On Good Friday, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. The people quoted Psalms crying out “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” (John 12:13) A donkey definitely does not seem the mode of transportation for a blessed person – what in your life may seem unimportant, challenging, or dirty!, that gives room for a true blessing from God?
By Jessica Downing | Salida, CO