Updated: Feb 25, 2019
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.
Are you blessed today? Blessed is a funny word. It is one of those words that is rarely used outside of the church. In fact, it is so embedded in church-speak that we sometimes even pronounce it differently than similar words in the English language: bless-ED. Does that extra syllable exist? Apparently it does when Jesus pronounces it. Almost every time I hear someone reading the beatitudes, they say “Bless-ed are the poor in spirit…” (Matt. 5:3). Well, regardless of how we say it, do we feel it? Do you know that you are?
I know we have all experienced Debbie and Donnie Downers in our lives that tend to dwell on the negative. I remember having a college student on our youth staff who had the knack for finding the negative in each and every situation. In fact, to this day, I can’t remember one positive thing that he ever said. I’m sure there had to be a time, but I can’t think of it. Yet, this was a guy who clearly loved God with all of his heart, soul, mind and strength and had a deep passion for our youth knowing the God he loved. But what does it say about the God who loves us, when our perception of our own lives, or at least the perception we project to others, is that they are terrible.
This all begs a simple question: Are our lives as believers essentially negative or positive? I believe that you cannot come away from Ephesians chapter one arguing the former. We are spiritually blessed, and it is not because of our day to day circumstances. Most of the time when I hear people refer to themselves as blessed it is because they got the job they were hoping for or their child got into the college they wanted or their mate was treating them in a godly fashion. I do the same. Yet, that is a very conditional way to look at blessings.
Instead, our greatest blessings come because of our status with God secured for us through Jesus Christ. Though our outer body decays and our society erodes and we face disappointment from others at every turn, believers have been given “every spiritual blessing.” I think it is actually very good that the word blessed is limited mostly to the church because it is a word used specifically of the good that God has bestowed on His people. There is no true blessing in our lives that can be assigned a human author. The word cannot be found in classical literature of Paul’s time because it really wasn’t used. If one of the Roman gods was thought to bestow fortune on a citizen it was referred to as "giving good luck". Yet in the Old and New Testaments the word is used over 500 times because our God has richly blessed His people throughout history and continues to do so over and over today in the lives of you and me. While old covenant blessings were granted on the basis of how well the nation adhered to the covenant, new covenant believers live in a blessed state 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of our choices. If that doesn’t make our lives essentially positive, I don’t know what would.
May we view our lives today as richly blessed by God, and may that cause us to praise the author of all blessings.