and ramblings on everything in between
“Count your blessings.” How many times have you heard that in your life? A lot? Me too. The ones I often count include good health, plenty of money, and nice things. “I’m so blessed to have a car, air conditioning, health insurance, (insert worldly possession here).” I look to the things around me to measure how well I’ve been blessed. You might too.
It occurred to me recently that I’m looking at blessings all wrong. What’s the Bible have to say about them?
“From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.”
“Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”
“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.”
“The Lord bless you and keep you.”
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.”
Gotquestions.org defines blessings as, “a wish for God to restore His favor on others or a declaration of His inherent goodness,” and also notes that, “the spiritual blessings available to us in Christ encompass time and eternity.”
If we’re counting on blessing being things of this world or safety from tragedy, how can we explain it when a devoted Christ follower is consumed by suffering, experiences horrific violence, or can’t feed his/her children? Unless we redefine our blessings, it’s hard to see blessings in the midst of that. It’s hard to remember that blessings, the blessings we are promised over and over again in the Bible, have nothing to do with that.
True blessings are more than things of this world; they encompass God’s peace, God’s grace, God’s eternal love, and God’s unconditional forgiveness. Blessings that have been poured on me since my journey with Christ began are a deeper awareness of how precious life is, more meaningful relationships, a sense of peace no matter what life throws my way, and pure joy when I’m serving and doing things I love. Blessings like these have impacted my life and my walk in faith more so than any house or 401(k) plan will. I don’t tithe or volunteer or study God’s word because I want a blessing in the form of a payout – I do it because I want others to experience transformative blessings like these in their own life.
We don’t have to be happy or rich to be blessed. And being blessed doesn’t mean we’ll automatically be happy or rich. We are blessed simply because God loves us so much.