MONDAY MUSINGS

What’s the Deal with #Blessed?

#blessed

Have you noticed the increased popularity of #Blessed across social media platforms?

Got a new car? #Blessed. Family vacation? #Blessed. Pumpkin spiced anything? #Blessed.

Celebrities have joined the bandwagon, too. I won’t mention any names. I’m sure you’ve seen them.

Of course, Christians use the word as well. We pray for God to bless our families and ministries. We attribute gifts as “God’s blessings.”

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a huge fan of showing gratitude. But lately, I’ve gotten irked by the major misuse of a precious word, cheapening its immense implications. 

Blessed is a Christian word. A deeply spiritual word rooted in Scripture. In fact, the word blessed originated from God Himself in Genesis 1:22 when He blessed the sea creatures and birds, telling them to be fruitful and multiply on the earth.

What does blessed truly mean?

I found a “Priestly Blessing” in my bible that helps us see the deeper meaning.

“The Lord said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron and his sons to bless the people of Israel with this special blessing:

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you peace.’

Whenever Aaron and his sons bless the people of Israel in my name, I myself will bless them.” Numbers 6:22-27

A summary of the commentary in the New Living Translation states this:

A blessing was one way of asking for God’s divine favor to rest upon others. The ancient blessing in these verses helps us understand what a blessing was supposed to do. (1) bless and protect them; (2) be pleased (smile on them); (3) be gracious to them; (4) give his favor and approval of them; (5) give peace.

When we ask God to bless others or ourselves, we are asking Him to do these five things. And when we say we have been blessed, we are acknowledging that God has done these things for us.

In the New Testament, the word blessed that Jesus used in the Sermon on the Mount is from the Greek word makarios, which means to be happy or blissful. It also means a ‘self-contained happiness.’  It is self-contained because regardless of what is happening to us externally, we can be truly happy internally. Sounds great, right?

Do you remember the Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount)? Jesus talks about those who will be blessed like this:

The Lord blesses the poor, those that mourn, the humble, those who hunger for righteousness, are merciful, pure of heart, peacemakers, and persecuted for doing right.

Yikes! How do these things lead to happiness? The Beatitudes tell us one thing clearly.

We will never be truly happy with a bunch of stuff, living a self-centered life.

Eventually, we will crave something deeper. True happiness is found in an intimate relationship with our Creator. For only the One who created us, knows what will truly satisfy and bring us happiness.

God’s original design was for all creation, including human beings, to experience prosperity, happiness, peace, and fulfillment. That design was ruined when sin entered the world.

The good news is, God took care of that by sending His son Jesus.

Material blessings we enjoy are temporary, but the spiritual blessings Jesus speaks about in the Sermon on the Mount—the ones available to us in Christ, transcend time—they are eternal. When we give our lives to Jesus, we will have blessings in good times and in bad times. I don’t think I need to tell you this, but being a Christian does not guarantee life is going to be easy. Life is not easy for anyone. Not even the ones on social media that appear to have it all together.

However, sometimes during this roller coaster of life, I think we forget these words from Christ, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 emphasis mine)

Just last week, two people I know well went home to be with the Lord. One was Steve, the publisher of the local newspaper to which I contribute freelance articles. Another was a dear woman, Sandy from the weekly women’s Bible study I attend at my church.

I found myself in tears for the loved ones left behind—for myself. I’m familiar with grief. I still experience waves of grief over the deaths of my own precious loved ones. But one thing I know for sure. God’s promises are true. He most certainly comforts those who mourn. Yes, even in the midst of life’s darkest valleys, the Lord is with us, sometimes literally carrying us in His strong and capable arms. And one day, we will stand in His presence in Heaven and walk right into those arms—no more tears, no more troubles. But until that day, we have His constant presence and promises to help us grow.

Peace and happiness in all life’s situations, the forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit to guide us, the love of our Creator, and eternal life in Heaven with Him?

Now that is #Blessed!

What are your thoughts? Do you have a prayer request? Let me know in the comments below.

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23 thoughts on “What’s the Deal with #Blessed?”

  1. Amen Ms. Beckie. Blessed is a word and an action that belongs to God. We can ask His blessings on behalf of others, and we should. But we should be mindful they are His to give. Well said ma’am.

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  2. Beckie, I love that you included references to both the Old and New Testaments to clarify what a blessing truly is in the eyes of God. I’ll agree that people take the word “blessed” out of it original context, especially when referring to material, temporal things. We are blessed when God’s spirit rests upon us, both in the good times and the bad.
    May He comfort you in your recent losses.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for your post, Beckie, and for your explanations, backed by scripture of ‘happiness.’ I especially liked this reminder: “True happiness is found in an intimate relationship with our Creator. For only the One who created us, knows what will truly satisfy and bring us happiness.” Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I usually use the word “blessed” fairly often, but it’s in the context of recognizing that my Lord is good to me–He blesses me. Somehow, I never considered that when folks were using this word that they had anything else in mind than that. I’ve never been able to separate blessings from God. You’ve made me think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Katherine, like you, I use the word blessed all the time. I also find it difficult to separate blessings from God. But it seems the word has been hijacked to mean something altogether different in many circles of our culture.
      I’m glad it made you think.
      “Blessings” to you and yours, my friend!

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  5. Beckie, so sorry about losing your two friends. Certainly, culture (and sometimes we believers) get the real meaning behind “blessed” all wrong. The Sermon on the Mount turns what we often hold dear as a blessings completely upside down. Love this line, “We will never be truly happy with a bunch of stuff, living a self-centered life.” So true. In Ephesians 1:3, Paul says God has blessed us in Christ with every SPIRITUAL blessing in the heavenly places. These intangible things like peace, mercy, grace, love, etc., far outweigh any material possession.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lacey, thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment. I’m so glad you were touched.
      Praying you are #blessed, my friend! I know that you bless the many people God brings into your life. And I’m one.
      Hugs!

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  6. This is so important! Thank you for sharing such a powerful reminder of what it means to be blessed by God. As a pastor who oversees a large Celebrate Recovery ministry, we talked about the beatitudes every week. I rarely share outside articles on our CR Facebook page, but I will share this one there… and on my personal social media pages. I think people will be #blessed by your humble reminder.

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