#BLESSED: What if we’ve got it all wrong?

The trend to #blessed every photo or tweet has died down quite a bit, but I still love to do it on occasion. I generally like to hop on trends and then use them to death–long after it’s still trendy or relevant. For some reason, I find that funny. Clearly, I have issues.

But back to being #blessed.

In our first world culture, we see blessing primarily in the form of things we posses. We’re #blessed if we have a job we love, a cozy house to come home to, a new car, an attractive spouse, great friends, or sometimes it’s as simple as a sunny day with a cappuccino and a book. I mean, does it get more #blessed than that?

But the Bible has a different definition of blessed. There are a few different Hebrew words used in the Bible that we translate to blessed. The most common is barak which means to praise, salute, or congratulate. But another word we find in the Old Testament text for blessed is esher, meaning happiness or how happy. This is the Hebrew word we find in Psalm 32.

How blessed is the one whose rebellious acts are forgiven, whose sin is pardoned! How blessed is the one whose wrongdoing the Lord does not punish, in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-2, NET)

While we often define our first world happiness on the things I mentioned above, the Psalmist (King David) tells us that true happiness is experienced by a man or woman who is forgiven!

As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us. (Psalm 103:12)

Do you and I truly comprehend that? Do we understand the magnitude of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross?

No matter how hard we try, how altruistic we are, how loving, caring, and generous, no matter how good we could possibly be, we can never earn God’s love or forgiveness on our own merit. Which means we can never be in a relationship with our Father, never experience true freedom and joy, never produce anything of real value from our lives, never be the person God created us to be– without the work Jesus did on the cross. His life for ours. He who knew no sin took our sin and removed it from us–as far as the east is from the west.

And because of that, we can be happy. Like, truly happy.

Of course we know that true happiness is not found in the stuff we have– even in the relationships we have. But do we actually comprehend that true happiness is found in knowing, receiving, and abiding in the forgiveness that God through Christ has extended to us?

How might that perspective alter the way you and I live?

Those of us who call ourselves Christians, those of us who claim to know Jesus… We should be the happiest people on the planet.

So think about that next time you tag that photo #blessed. I know I will.