Amanda Jolley

Studio Joy

Blessed Defined

Recently a friend made the statement when comparing her life with others that ‘we are so blessed.’ While I understand that we are to be grateful for the blessings in our lives, this statement inferred that the people she was comparing our lives to were not blessed. And this bothered me a great deal. I have heard this statement before and was just as jarred by it then. So began my journey searching for God’s meaning of blessing.A pervasive thought in the U.S., especially the middle-class to wealthy, is that those who are blessed have happy childhoods, good relationships, and little conflict in life. I challenge this mindset, believing it to be a lie.

Perhaps the wrong thinking is in the definition of a blessing. Does it come from our material and physical lives? Is it tangible and measurable by good “things” that happen to us? Perhaps the word fortunate should be substituted for blessing here.

From my experience with blessings, they are based on Christ’s presence rather than good “things.” I am extremely blessed by watching Christ transform people, individuals, into His image. I share this blessing with them as He also transforms me. I can give because I have been so greatly blessed. He has transformed my heart so greatly that all I want is more of Him, and I want to share this with others.

The first verse in the Bible that refers to a blessing is God speaking to His Creation. Genesis 1:22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.

God then goes on to speak to Adam and Eve. Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Genesis also tells Abram that He will bless Abram and Abram in turn would be a blessing. Then God also promises the blessing and multiplying of Abraham’s seed “as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.”

As a Christian looking from a spiritual perspective, blessings are given to us to be shared. Our sharing of blessings allows Christ to be multiplied “as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.” I am sure that my almighty King would multiply Himself with or without our help, but He chooses to use His children in this way.

So I choose not to look at where people are at in their lives, how prosperous they are, how great their relationships are, how perfectly their children behave, how good their upbringing was, how nice their possessions are, but instead I look into their hearts. Despite what has happened in their lives, what is happening in their hearts right now? How can I encourage the blessing that is growing within them? Some of the most richly blessed people I know have messed up lives by the world’s standards. God is meeting them where they are at this moment in their lives. He is not removing the ugliness in their lives, but turning the ugliness into beauty. The blessing is the transformation, and, in turn, others are blessed by the sharing of this transformation.

Isa 61:3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

Strong’s Concordance defines the Hebrew word bless as to kneel; by implication to bless God (as an act of adoration), and (vice-versa) man (as a benefit).

I kneel before God in adoration. He blessed me first. Psalm 34:1 … I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

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