What does “Blessed” Really Mean?

The word “blessed” in the Bible is a translation of a Greek word meaning “very happy.” Our Lord, in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12), tells us what true and great happiness means.

Although He spells it out plainly, people still have problems and will then insist that they are not blessed if they mourn, are persecuted, if they hunger and thirst after righteousness, or have like trials.

Our problem is simply this: we believe that we are blessed or very happy only if we get what we want, and what we want is to be indulged, to have things made easier for us. This, obviously, is not our Lord’s view of blessedness. In fact, what we call happiness can be a curse at times. Thus, the Psalmist in Psalm 106:15, in describing the condemnation of the older generation in the wilderness journey, declares of God, “And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”

We need to assess our idea of happiness. Is it humanistic? Does it simply involve getting what we want, with little or no thought of God? But we are God’s property, and we cannot live as though His total claim upon us were nonexistent. Our God is Lord, the absolute owner of all things, and all things must serve and obey Him. For us to seek happiness, or blessedness, apart from the Lord and His purposes is to deny Him and to claim a nonexistent independence from God. To deny God is finally to deny life and happiness and to choose death (Prov. 8:36).

Moreover, happiness on our Lord’s terms is more than simply problems and battles; it is also victories, as the Beatitudes make clear: theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven; the meek shall inherit the earth; they shall be filled and comforted, and so on.

Are you seeking happiness on your terms, or the Lord’s?

Taken from Volume 6 of the series

A Word in Season: Daily Messages on the Faith for All of Life.

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Reprinted by permission of the Chalcedon Foundation.
Copyright by the Chalcedon Foundation. All rights reserved.

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