Monday, January 24, 2011

Truly Blessed To Be Blessed (James 1:12)

We throw the word “blessed” around a lot. 

“Have a blessed day!”
"You are such a blessing!"
“Be blessed!”
“You are very blessed.”
“Blessings," (as a closing to a letter)

I know I get to seeing and hearing it so much that I really have forgotten what it means.  Did I ever truly know? 

“Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”  James 1:12

What does it mean to be called blessed?

“Blessed’ indicates the state of the believer in Christ.  It is the Greek word “makarios” and comes from “makariotes” which means to possess the characteristic of deity. 

“Blessed...on account of Me” (Matthew 5:3-11)
“Blessed...for the sake of the Son of Man” (Luke 6:20-22)

God dwells within the Believer of Jesus because of Christ 
and as a result is fully satisfied.

Is that me?  Am I walking around fully satisfied?

In Christian circles, we use the word blessed as an exchange for “happy”.  But as we learned earlier, happy is a person who has good luck.  It is dependant upon happenstance.  It is not the same with makarios.

A blessed person is one whom God makes fully satisfied, not because of favorable circumstances, but because He indwells the believer through Christ.  Aristotle contrasted makaros to endees, which means “the needy one”. 

We don’t easily think of a trial—with the intent to prove our faith deeper—as something blessed because we are usually not too happy about it.  Trials are not "happy" experiences.  The person who perseveres (does not run but holds fast to faith in the midst of trial) stays standing in that satisfied state. 

Persevered trials prove the authenticity of our faith—
our standing in Christ!

That is what the word approved means—authentic!  It was used in the ancient world where coins were solely used as money and required a certain weight of metal.  These coins were soft and could easily be shaved leaving extra metal to be re-melted and formed into new coins.  Honest money changers would not accept counterfeit (shaved coins).  They were men of honor who put only genuine, full-weighted money into circulation.  Such men were called “dokimos” or “approved”.

The person who is free from daily cares and worries because his every breath and circumstance is in the hands of His Maker who gives him such an assuranceis blessed!  His satisfaction comes from God and not from favorable circumstances.

When I plugged all this information back into that verse from James above, I received a deeper understanding of not only what I am promised to receive—but what I have already receivedThe state of full satisfaction I am able to live in now!  When I plug "makariotes" into those Christian phrases I mentioned off the top, the intended well wishes deepen substantially!

Being blessed is equivalent to having God’s kingdom within one’s heart. 

That is true blessing—the kind I’m truly after!

~more information on the word blessed can be found here...

Update...not an hour after pressing the "publish" button my hubby called with news from the mechanic concerning one of our vehicles.  What we *thought* was a simple water pump is now not such a simple or inexpensive fix.  Work has been slow for our business, so this could have been one more disappointing frustration.  Also, I've been learning through family emails that my 88 year old grandmother is not doing well and my parents are at a loss of what to do for her next.  I'm so glad God's grace walked before me and led to this study this morning! 
We are blessed regardless of our circumstances!  
Do I believe that?  Yes!  
Is our God good?  Yes!all the time...He. is. good!
I truly pray that your walk today is sweet as you walk blessed in Him!

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Click here for the other posts from my study of the book of James
I am joining The Good Morning Girls as we study James together. 

Participating in the link-up with Raising Homemakers...Learning to live the Legacy I want to pass on!