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Looking for Blessing, Not Luck

Many Christians are careful to avoid using the word “lucky” – and rightly so.  When we believe in the sovereignty of God and the intimacy of His personal involvement in our lives, there is no room for luck, as this word implies pure chance – or worse, that there are capricious forces at work in our lives.

Instead, many people use the word “blessing” to identify every good and happy circumstance:

  • “What a blessing that John got a raise and we were able to take a vacation.”
  • “We are so blessed with health, or family, or money, or…”
  • “What a blessing it didn’t rain today and ruin the family picnic.”

Blessings, not luck

These are certainly delightful; bringing happiness, opportunity, or pleasantness to our lives.  After all, the word “blessing” does mean God’s favor and protection and connotes happiness and well-being. The problem arises when we attribute this divine evidence of God’s care almost exclusively to those external circumstances that make our lives on earth easier and more comfortable.

As usual, Jesus likes to broaden our perspective so that we can develop a greater awareness of God in our everyday lives. In his famous Sermon on the Mount, he points out that there is a rich source of blessing to be found if we will simply look at things from God’s perspective…

Blessed are the poor (in spirit) because theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • There is security for those who recognize their need of God, and who put their confidence in Him.
  • In the NT, Jesus often condemns the rich – not for their wealth – but for their dependence on it. How foolish, he cries! God can be trusted to take care of you. Live in his kingdom and you will live in security.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed as those who mournIs there one person on earth who doesn’t need comfort?

Although no one is immune from the trials of life, those who know God have his comforting presence to lean on in the hardest of times.

 

“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff (protection and guidance) comfort me.    Psalm 23:4

God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 2 Cor.1:3

Blessed are those who are humble for they will inherit the whole earth.

There is a pre-written end to the story, and Jesus Christ is named ruler with authority over the earth, now and forever. It is our pride that resists his authority, but for those who humbly admit their need of him, he gives everything that belongs to him. Everything!

“He has given us great and precious promises.” 2 Peter 1:4

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (or justice), for they will be satisfied.

Over and over again we are reminded that the world’s leaders fail to do what is best for those they have power over. Not Jesus! He is perfect in justice and righteousness. What a relief!

What a blessing to know that no matter how bad or ugly things get in this world, we can put our confidence in God in whom there is no falsehood, no injustice, no moral failure, no favoritism, no harm, no self-promotion, no vacillation, no hatred or murder or greed. He will always do what is best for us. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Blessed are those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Mercy is defined as: “compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.”

Blessed are the merciful

  • That’s us! God is merciful towards us – in spite of the fact that we, his children, continually scorn, doubt, ignore, and reject him. It was at the cross where his mercy (compassion and forgiveness) was most clearly demonstrated, to the fullest degree, and in spite of our behaviour. If we want to find God, this is where we will meet him.
  • They say that to err is human, but to forgive is divine. This is true because forgiving can be one of the most difficult things that God calls us to do. But when we forgive others of their injustice and offense against us, we find ourselves free – free of hatred and bitterness and revenge – and full of mercy.

Mercy triumphs over judgement!

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

As I was taking a walk this morning, I noticed all kinds of people out walking and jogging, some of them sporting slogans on their T-shirts, such as “I’m not here to be average, I’m here to be awesome.” Advertisements for fitness clubs fill our mailboxes, and magazines consistently Photoshop even the most attractive women so that they appear perfect.  We are a society obsessed with appearance and how others perceive us.

But to God, it is our heart that matters.  

Blessed are the pure in heart

  • What does God see when He looks at my heart?
  • Does my life reflect purity (sincerity) of heart, where I can say that I love the Lord, my God, with ALL of my heart?
  • To be honest, I can’t say that I do.
  • But I do know that if I wholeheartedly seek God, I will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).

(There is so much more to say on this blessing, so I have written another post, which is coming out soon.)

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

The world cries out for peace, but there is only one Prince of Peace and only he can bring lasting peace to us. He has sacrificed himself so that we can be at peace with God. Through Jesus, God adopts us as his children.

“To all who received him (Jesus), who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” John 1:12

Now the peace of God can rule over our hearts. We have a loving, yet all powerful, Father. Therefore, we do not need to be afraid or anxious about anything.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.

Interestingly, these blessings follow naturally from the peacemaking blessing of being God’s children.  In fact, it is childlike faith that gains us entry into God’s kingdom. (Matt.18:4)

The Kingdom of God is in opposition to the kingdoms of this world.

  • The kingdom of God is where God’s children live, now and forever, under God’s spiritual authority, secure in His love.
  • The kingdoms of this world are not ruled by so kind a hand and those ruled by this tyrant of rebellion to God, may themselves lash out in rebellion, and hatred, and anger, and mockery against anything and anyone associated with God.
  • God encourages his children to respond by loving their enemies and praying for those who persecute them. This is how God rules his kingdom – with love and mercy.

In Light of This...

Take some time to consider how each of these blessings impacts your life. Consider too that each of them is meant to impart God’s favor, protection, happiness, and well-being into your life – not sometime in the future, but right now.
Ask God to search your heart and to reveal those things that stand in the way of you walking in the richness of God’s blessing.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. (Psalm 51:10) I know that you will not cast me from your presence (vs 11), but you will draw me to yourself with cords of love. (Hosea 11:4)  For I know that I will find you when I seek you with ALL of my heart.”(Jeremiah 29:13)

 

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