“When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.” —Billy Graham
Are you blessed?
I’m sure you can tell if someone is “blessed.” Today, people say stuff like, “I got a raise! What a real blessing!” Or, “My company gave me a brand-new car! I’m really blessed.” Or, “I married the man of my dreams! I feel truly blessed!”
The word “blessed” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word makarios. It means “happy” or “fortunate,” but it goes far beyond that.
Today, we tend to look at blessings from a purely MATERIAL perspective. We also focus on our PRESENT situation and forget what Jesus (Yahshua) said about future spiritual blessings.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ gives eight signs that we are truly blessed:
You recognize your spiritual brokenness and nothingness before God. You readily admit your spiritual bankruptcy without Him. As a result, you feel helpless and powerless to accomplish anything truly good in God’s sight, without His divine enabling and help. You acknowledge your need for God and your dependence upon Him for everything, both physical and spiritual.
You lament, mourn and weep for your sins and desire to turn to God in deep repentance. You abhor yourself for the wrong way of life you’ve been living, in opposition to the true ways of God. You don’t laugh at, make light of, or enjoy the evils of this present world and the suffering people are inflicting upon themselves and each other as a result.
Meek doesn’t mean weak. Moses was meek, but not weak. The real Jesus (Yahshua) was also meek, but He was certainly not weak. A meek person shows patience, humility, and gentleness, even under extreme pressure. You ultimately rely on God to defend yourself against injustices, trusting Him to exact vengeance.
Your all-consuming passion in life is righteousness and the things of God. You may physically go hungry at times, but physical comfort is not the most important thing in life to you. You’d rather suffer lack and even go hungry at times than compromise on God’s laws and spiritual principles.
You treat people better than they deserve. You have the disposition to be kind and forgiving, being willing to understand and give people the benefit of the doubt. You treat other people kindly and compassionately, especially those who are under your power or who can’t do you any good. You are touched by their sufferings and misfortunes and seek to relieve them. When people do you wrong, you are willing to forgive instead of holding on to a grudge.
Your heart and motives are pure, and so is your conscience before God. You don’t serve God to get “brownie points” from Him. You don’t have ulterior motives when you serve. You don’t ask: “What do I get in return for serving God or other people? What's in it for me?” You just do it because it’s right.
You don’t just wait for peace to happen. You actively make peace by being careful with your own words and actions. You don’t take things personally or react violently to the slightest irritations and offenses of others. You are willing to sit down to settle disputes in a humble and reasonable manner.
In your quest to do what is right, you don’t mind being hated, excluded, ostracized, oppressed or harassed with ill-treatment because of your faith. You might even be reviled and slandered. You might be assailed with scornful or abusive language, or even criticized harshly or angrily. You realize that even the prophets of old were shabbily treated. So, while you have true and devoted friends, you don’t expect to be popular or to have everyone like you.
The real Christian life is hard; it’s not for wimps. Therefore, your reward will be so great. Here are seven blessings God has in store for you:
So once again, are you blessed? Do you feel blessed? I hope you can see now how blessed you truly are.
Keep your eyes on the prize. The Kingdom of God is so amazing you will literally leap for joy!
Be strong. Keep the faith!