I’ve said, “God bless you,” after somebody sneezes, and it’s been said to me. In Texas we say, “bless her heart” (and sometimes it’s not a compliment).
What does it mean to be blessed? Jesus gives us the answer in the Beatitudes. From the Latin word for “blessed,” the Beatitudes were spoken by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount. You can read them in the Bible book of Matthew chapter 5.
“Blessed are those who … Blessed are you when” (Matthew 5:4,11).
“Blessed” means something more than circumstances making you happy, and it doesn’t mean being lucky. To be blessed is to be made privileged by the merciful action of Almighty God, to receive divine favor. The blessings of Jesus don’t result from our circumstances and aren’t prevented by our circumstances.
Jesus’ blessings can be the reverse of what we’d expect. Jesus says, “When I get involved, you need to reverse your thinking.” The kingdom of God simply doesn’t operate according to the rules of this world’s culture and norm. Jesus the King who conquered all did so as the Suffering Servant. When he asks you to be great by becoming least, to find your life by losing it, to be humble so that God can lift you up, can you trust him? Absolutely.
Jesus’ blessings give reassurance. Stop trying to save yourself, to save your life, to save everything your way. And just be a misfit. Be a mistake. Be less. Be little. Be weak. Be poor. Be underprivileged. When you are nothing, only then is Jesus your everything.
Jesus’ blessings create resilience. Are you the volunteer or caregiver who can’t take it anymore? You give, and give, and give with little recognition or reward, and others aren’t stepping up like you are. Jesus says you are finding your life. Don’t quit. Be humble. Are you a single parent? A forgotten child? A worn out worker? The pressure is overwhelming and the loneliness draining. Don’t give up; trust in the Lord. You are finding your life.
Jesus knows how life works, in the kingdom of heaven as well as the kingdom of this world. And he blesses it his way. The best way.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, your blessings shake up my world in ways beyond my own understanding. I need reassurance and resilience from you. As you give it, I pray that I may also bless others. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read the beatitudes of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:1-12. Meditate today by choosing one of the beatitudes or blessings that you especially need today. Focus your thoughts on it. Ask questions and seek clarity of heart. Pray through it and watch for God’s answers.