“Blessed”, its all over social media. We hear people claim to be “blessed” all the time, especially during the holiday season. By stating that one is blessed we are declaring that they have an abundance of something like: happy and healthy children, financial freedom, prosperity, a thriving ministry etc. As I scrolled through Facebook I noticed this hashtag, #blessed over and over again on Christmas Day. Every single time it was with reference to something in the physical realm. So, that leads me ask, if being blessed is based on children, then what about those who have none? If being blessed is a brand new top of the line home, then what about those who do not own a home? If it means you have not suffered loss of a family member this year, then what about those who have? If it’s talking about a ministry that reaches millions, what about the ones who only reach a few?
The world defines “blessed” as abundance in the material realm. Truth is the state of “blessed” is not found in the physical realm but in the spiritual. Being Blessed is not based on something we own, it’s based on who we are. We are not simply blessed because we have abundance on earth, the book of Ephesians would tell us we are blessed because we are now “in Christ.”. So being blessed is part of our identity that is based solely on the work and grace of Christ Jesus. If all the physical blessings were lost we would still be blessed based on the fact that we are Christ’s and he is ours.
Christmas night I sat at my grandmother and grandfathers house like we have done as long as I can remember. But this year it was different, this year we had suffered great loss. The weight of my mothers suicide still is heavy upon my family. A piece is missing from us all now that she is no longer with us. By the worlds estimation we would not be considered blessed, for too much has been lost this year. But as I sat on my grandparents couch once again and just like always the the Christmas story was read aloud from Luke, I saw what “blessed” truly is. James says “blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial.” I see that in my family. I see that through all of this, our love for Him and our dependence on Him has heightened. That maybe the loss is not a blessing but the outcome of it can be. I feel my open and exposed wounds met with the wounds of Christ. That in suffering, we find fellowship that would have been missed otherwise. Suffering can cloud the mind in a thousand different ways. The questions of “why” can plague you if your not careful but I have found that in the times of suffering that Christ can be seen more clearly because our eyes are now set on Him and Him alone. As we gathered together at her grave and laid a poinsettia upon the cold dirt- I gazed upon each face and what I saw were people who are truly blessed. Blessed, because Satan didn’t win. Blessed, because death is defeated. Blessed,because we are more than conquerors. Blessed, because Gods promise of joy outweighs Satans lies. Blessed, because we have hope.
It’s in the place of suffering that the heart of God is exposed; suffering is always met by fellowship, He meets us there. It joins us to Christ. Christ said “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted”, despite the loss of someone dear to us, we are indeed blessed. Blessed by the grace and strength of God, by His provision, by the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Blessed to be in Christ.
The favor of God is not always seen in the physical realm, it’s not something you can weigh by scales or by sight, it’s weighed in the soul of man by the Spirit of Christ. It’s who we are, not what we receive, so no loss could strip that away.
I get all the hashtags, I really do. I get what they mean by the statement. We are really saying we are thankful for the physical gifts we’ve been given. God is a giver so of course his favor spills over into the physical realm. However, it’s vital for us to realize that’s not where it starts. It starts in Christ , at the brokenness of His own suffering and nothing can take away that title from us. No amount of loss suffered could steal our blessedness because it’s who we are. We are blessed because we are held by Christ not by the abundance we hold. We are blessed because He suffered. Now, we get to bless Him through our suffering. No circumstance can crush the favor conferred to us on the cross. No amount of pain can outweigh the grace lavished on us by the Spirit and no amount of grief can steal the joy of being Christ’s and He being ours. So indeed we can say with absolute assurance “I’m blessed.”
So I want to say this to the one who feels zapped, who feels depleted…”you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus…” your identity and your resources are not limited to earth. Your blessing lies in another plane, a heavenly one. Earthly possessions, status, and accomplishments do not define you, Christ does.