by Jeff Ferris 12/31/2012 / Devotionals
We hear it quite often don't we?
"I am blessed because I got a promotion".
"I was blessed with a new car", etcetera.
Maybe I am just picky about word choice. It could be the writer in me. Are we really blessed because of an enviable situation or a shiny new object?
"I am blessed", you say. But, how do you reach this conclusion? Is it by that which is touchable, tangible and most of all temporary? Do we proclaim "being blessed" because of our bank account? Do we make such a determination based on our investment portfolio?
We all would agree that the Apostle Paul was a man who was truly blessed by God. Yet, there were seasons and times when he was distressed and in want. On multiple occasions he was beaten and imprisoned. He suffered shipwreck. He was endangered by various criminals and "false brethren".
He knew tiredness, pain, hunger and thirst. (see II Corinthians 11:23-30)
Writing to the believers in Philippi, Paul said:
I know both how to be abased [brought down, belittled, humbled], and I know how to abound [flourish, prosper]: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
(Philippians 4:12 KJV)
There were times when Paul experienced both ends of the financial and material continuum, and he didn't boast that he was 'blessed' because of one end and insist that he was 'cursed' because of the other.
Paul understood what it meant to be blessed. He realized that various 'blessings' come and go, but 'being blessed' maintains a greater shelf life. In fact, it bears no expiration date because it references a heavenly position.
It is eternal.
Simply stated: we are completely blessed if we know Jesus Christ, by encountering and embracing the life changing revelation of Who He is.
Physical conditions and material things count for nothing.
When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven."
(Matthew 16:13-17 New KJV)
(This article was published in Pathway Christian Newspaper January 2013)