The words bless, blessed or blessing are used a lot, and not only by Christians. But what do we actually mean when we use the word blessed, and where does the concept even originate from?
When we say to someone “be blessed,” are we expressing a desire to see their lives enriched financially; their troubles eased by good health? When we say, “I am blessed,” are expressing gratitude for the things we have, or the people in our lives, good health? Do any of these things have anything to do with being blessed?
The Source of All Blessing
The Bible’s message is one of blessing — blessing pronounced, promised, anticipated and experienced.
In Numbers 6 the Lord makes it clear that, a: he is the SOURCE of blessing and b: it is his intention to bless his people.
Our God is fully engaged, determined, and able to bless our lives with all the security, grace, and peace we long for. As we read these words that God instructed the Moses to tell the priests to speak over the people, we can clearly see his loving intent to be personally involved in the lives of his children as the source of all the goodness they enjoy.
“The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
The Essence of Blessing
God’s blessing is so much more than receiving good things from God. The essence of blessing is God HIMSELF: We are blessed by God’s constant, sovereign presence in our lives. It is his Fatherly affection and approval, and the deep knowledge that he will never leave or forsake us, never turn his face from us. It is because of God’s presence that anything and everything good emerges from our lives.
When we bless someone, or ask God to bless us, we invite him to pervade; even disrupt and change, every ordinary aspect of our lives: our plans, our hopes, our accomplishments, for his better, so much higher ones.
In the 46 years I have been a Christian, I have known many people who have been through the most awful life circumstances, yet in the midst of it all they have been able to say, sincerely, “I am blessed.” How? It comes from this unshakable knowledge that God himself is the substance of blessing.
We Are Blessed Because of Jesus
We can enjoy the full measure of God’s blessing only because Jesus took full measure of God’s curse upon himself in place of us.
• Because we have received such lavish grace, we can be honest before God and other people about our sin, without fear of condemnation. (See Romans 8:1)
• We can be sure that the Lord will lift up his countenance upon us, only because when the Father looks at us, he sees us robed in the righteousness of Christ. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21)
• We are blessed because we are securely joined to Christ ~ God is changing us, “from glory to glory;” (2 Corinthians 3:18) and we are kept by and for God.
In every circumstance we can call ourselves blessed, and mean it, because we are confident of the presence of the Lord our ‘Keeper,’ with us and in us – a constant companion and comfort, being gracious to us, filling us with peace, enabling us with his strength.
Therefore, we can know it with every fibre of our being, and shout it from the rooftops: we are truly, eternally blessed!