Are You Blessed Today?
September 4, 2011 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
If you are anything like me, your “sense” of being blessed fluctuates with the events and circumstances of your day to day life. When crisis strikes or I am facing great need or I am enduring under trial, I don’t feel blessed. On the other hand, I feel blessed when everything seems to go well in life or I receive an unexpected gift or my life is absent of trial.
When the Bible speaks about blessings, there is a whole different approach. Consider Psalm 32:1-2, “Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.” The condition of this blessing is not the events and circumstances of life nor is it based upon my performance. This blessing is contingent on God alone, the God who is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love” (Ps. 103:8).
Paul quotes Psalm 32 while explaining that this blessing is justification by faith alone, “apart from works” (Rom. 4:5-8). The blessing enjoyed, because one’s sins are forgiven, is a right relationship with God. David intended, and Paul makes explicit, that this blessing comes only by faith.
Since this blessing is a free gift, and a right relationship with God truly is a blessing, why don’t I “feel” blessed at all times? I’ll reflect on two reasons, which truly are two sides of one coin.
1. I look for blessings in lesser things. My sense of blessing often is tied to what I do or to the circumstances of my life. These are not necessarily bad things (like work accomplishments, gifts, my family, etc.), they just pale in comparison to the never-failing, never-changing blessing from God. As C.S. Lewis says in his essay, The Weight of Glory, “we are far too easily pleased.” I dishonor God by living in discontentment, looking for earthly blessings.
2. I fall short in my understanding of how good it is to be in a right relationship with God. Or I forget. We were created for relationship with God. Every spiritual blessing comes through a relationship with God. Fullness of joy is in his presence. Pleasures forevermore are at his right hand. The more I dig into knowing God and understanding his ways, the more I delight in all the blessings that come from being in relationship with him. This is why the study of Scripture and theology is so vital to our growth as Christians. We need the reminder and the expansion of our understanding of how good God is.
Are you blessed today? If you are in Christ by faith, you are absolutely blessed, beyond your imagination. Praise God with me, “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3). And dig deeper with me into “the depths of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God” (Rom. 11:33).