We are excited to welcome our friend, Stephanie K. Adams, with Real Women Ministries as a contributing writer of our “Blessed” series. She has walked with us in prayer and study for this series, and more importantly, she has often guided us to the foot of the cross when walking through hard times, always reminding us to cling to Jesus. We pray you are encouraged by Stephanie’s words. If you would like to print a copy of today’s study, you can download it here >>>> Blessed Devo One – Stephanie K Adams
We’ve all heard it before. A friend sharing good news finishes her tale with, “I am so blessed.”
A family member with a good report from the doctor, “God really blessed me.”
A neighbor whose loved one miraculous survived an accident, “God was good to us. We are so blessed.”
We decorate our houses and warm our hands around coffee mugs emblazoned with Blessed. Or, my personal favorite—God bless this mess.
But what about when the doctor’s report isn’t good, the bank account is nearing zero, or we suffer a heart-crushing loss? Are we suddenly not blessed—less than blessed?
Life isn’t just mountain-top experiences and good news, there are also hard times. We all encounter circumstances that are struggles to get through. It’s in those times we can feel anything but blessed. Is it possible our view on being blessed is different from the Bible? That’s the question that came up recently in a conversation with a friend and it got me doing some digging. This is what I found in studying the word blessed.
- The dictionary defines blessed as divine favor. This is the typical way in which we think of being blessed. When good things happen to us, it produces a feeling of God’s favor in our lives.
This definition is not wrong, but I found there is a little bit more to being blessed than just feeling favored.
Did you know there are actually two different words in the Bible for the word blessed?
- Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Lexicon defines Blessed in the Hebrew (Old Testament) as Barak [bä-rak’] meaning to bless, to kneel, to be blessed, or to praise. Barak is a verb, an action word. It is something God or man does as an act of worship or praise or honoring another.
There are tons of scriptures describing how God blessed many of the saints in the Old Testament—from Noah to Abraham to David and the children of Israel. God showed divine favor in their lives through conferring physical and spiritual blessings upon them and the generations to follow. Here is just one example:
“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.” Deuteronomy 28:2-6 ESV
While we most often acknowledge our material possessions and physical well-being because they produce the feeling of being blessed. These are not the only blessings we receive from God. I would even argue they aren’t the most important blessing God intends for us.
In the New Testament, we find the Greek word for Blessed is Makarios [mä-kä’-re-os] meaning blessed, fortunate, happy. This meaning is the word Jesus uses when He speaks the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 and throughout New Testament writings.
Makarios is an adjective, meaning it describes the word or person being spoken about. It helps define the state of being of the person.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:12 ESV
For me, this verse goes to the heart of what true blessing is all about. True blessing isn’t dependent on our material possessions, physical health, or the need for positive circumstances, it is a spiritual state.
Our eternal spiritual state through salvation is the ultimate divine favor and everything that flows from that is in addition to the fact that we are spiritually blessed above all.
I am not less blessed just because I may be facing hard circumstances in life. When there is illness, loss of a job, the end of a relationship, or the bank balance is low, none of these situations changes the fact we are eternally, spiritually blessed if we are children of God.
Being blessed is a joy-filled contentment despite outward circumstances.
I remember years ago when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the last thing I felt was blessed. At the time it seemed there was nothing joyful or praiseworthy about my situation. Looking back, this was actually one of the most blessed times of my life. Why? Because of the closeness of Christ.
His presence bears witness of our relationship with Him and it brings joy in the midst of the hard.
Do you find yourself facing something so hard you question if you are blessed? If so, remember that salvation is your ultimate blessing. The knowing that Christ has wrapped Himself around your soul and you are held for eternity, even while you are face heartbreaking situations here on earth.
Circumstances are not what dictates blessing, it is our eternal spiritual state.
True blessing is the security we find in the arms of Christ while we weather the journey from here to eternity.
- If you haven’t already, download our printable Blessed Journal >>>> Blessed Journal
- Select a verse from the above devo and verse map the verse. You can do this in the journal you downloaded or in a notebook. Never used this bible study tool? Learn more at Sweet to the Soul
- Stephanie writes, “Being blessed is a joy-filled contentment despite outward circumstances.” Recollect about a time when your circumstances were difficult. Looking back, what do you recall about this time that you now count as a blessing?
Stephanie K. Adams is the Director of Real Women Ministries, where she helps women find encouragement through God’s Word in the midst of their busy lives. Stephanie enjoys reading, a good cup of coffee, and Saturday breakfast with her husband in their North Carolina home.
She is the author of In the Shadow of the Cross: Following Jesus Through His Last Days and is a contributing author to Bearing Fruit: Living Rooted in Christ.