There isn’t one person in the whole world who is hoping to live a life that is empty of good things. We all hope to live a “blessed” life, don’t we? Even people who are not saved ‘count their blessings’! And certainly Christians love to talk about God’s blessing and how we are “blessed to be a blessing” and we all desire to walk in those blessings. So, what happens when your life slams head first into a wall? What happens when everything goes horribly wrong? What happens when you lose your marriage or your health or your kids are on drugs or your home is foreclosed on or you get into a car accident? Are you still “blessed”? Yes!
This is what so many people don’t understand: Blessing doesn’t mean you are problem-free. To be blessed means that you have been empowered with the supernatural, uncommon ability to succeed amid adversity. (Write that down somewhere!)
Jesus taught that, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matthew 5:11). Did you see the word “when“? (Not “if”!) Expect adversity in your life. You have an enemy who has sought to destroy since before you were even born! That is that horrific reality of abortion and child abuse. Satan will destroy anyone and anything made in the image of God no matter how young or vulnerable or helpless. He seeks to devour and that will never, ever, ever stop. (1 Peter 5:8) You can expect to be persecuted if you truly follow Jesus (John 16:33). Whoever hates God is going to hate you, so plan for that! (John 15:18-21). “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” Paul wrote. (2 Timothy 3:12) Yet amid all of this, you are blessed!
In God’s counter-culture, being blessed is a constant, supernatural state of being, not a natural experience that comes and goes..
If you haven’t already noticed, God doesn’t define things like we do! For Christians, being “blessed” is a counter-culture experience to what the world sees. The world – sometimes even other Christians – assumes you’re “blessed” if you have a nice home or a nice car or nice clothes or a good job or money. In the Bible, there are specific blessings attached to obedience and there are specific blessings attached to worship and there are specific blessings attached to living righteously and yes, some of those include “prosperity” or “wealth” … but remember that God doesn’t define anything – not even “prosperity” and “wealth” like we do! In fact, living a life of blessing in God’s counter-culture, material successes mean very little. In God’s counter-culture, “blessing” is usually associated with spiritual outcomes, not natural ones and they may even include a lot of difficulties. Why? In God’s counter-culture, being blessed is a constant, supernatural state of being, not a natural experience that comes and goes.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind about living a life of blessing and what the Word of God – the only source of truth in existence – says about it. Notice that each of these reflects a blessing counter-culture that your heart must keep in focus:
- Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is the Lord….”
- Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
- Exodus 23:25 says, “Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water.”
- Psalm 34:8 says, “…Blessed is the one who takes refused in Him.”
- Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness…”
- Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.”
Thought for today
Here’s the thing: In order for God to operate on earth He has inexplicably tied Himself to human agency. The same thing is true of Satan. Satan only has the power that he is given by human beings. This is why he seeks to influence and manipulate people – and it works! Christians on earth unleash the power of heaven and its superior arsenal of weapons by being in place to operate within God’s will – that is what it means to say, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. When we pray, fast and worship – seeking the face of God and inviting Him to move on earth – we become His agents of change! “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has forcefully advanced, and the strong take it by force,” Jesus said. (Matthew 11:12). Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’re not living a life of blessing or wondering where God’s blessing is when things go awry. You live in a counter-culture of FAITH which means that even when you don’t see it – it’s there! Amen!