“Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
What most people think of being blessed of God is not what God defines as being blessed. When things in life seem to be going well, we will often say that God has blessed us. When our finances are comfortable and no financial storm seems to be in the future, we often tell people that we are blessed. When everything in our family is going well (the children are doing right and serving God, and the marriage is strong), we often tell people that we are blessed. When our health is strong, friends and people are good to us, the car we drive is new, and the home in which we live is large, we often say that we are blessed.
Believers often look at the things and possessions in life one acquires to determine whether we are blessed, but the Scriptures don’t say that we are blessed because of the abundance of things. The verse above is the beginning of what we call the Sermon on the Mount. Nine times in this sermon, Jesus used the word “blessed.” In other words, Jesus is telling the believer what it truly means to be blessed. Let’s look at what Jesus considers being blessed.
First, blessed does not mean that God will give you more. Nowhere in the Scriptures does God say that having more money and possessions implies a person is blessed. If this were true, those who live wicked lifestyles and have many things and possessions would be blessed. Just because a person has a big home, drives nice cars, enjoys financial prosperity mean that this person is blessed. Being blessed is never measured by the amount of possessions and finances.
Second, being blessed is often the result of adversity. God says, “Blessed are…” In other words, He is telling us what it means to be blessed. What God says is being blessed may not be what you think about a blessed person. Being a blessed person often means you will be poor, mourn, hunger, be wronged, misunderstood, endure conflict, be persecuted and reviled, and maligned. In other words, you have the opportunity to be a blessed person when you go through adversity in life.
Third, you are blessed because of what adversity brings. You will notice that adversity brings salvation, comfort, future blessings, righteous living, mercy, God’s presence, a good testimony, and an identity with Christ. In other words, being blessed is the testimony you build during adversity, and the presence of God you enjoy to help you in your adversity.
My friend, being blessed is often determined by your response to adversity. Your testimony is formed through the adversities of life, and the adversity that builds the greatest testimonies is often a result of evil people hurting and maligning you. You will discover that when you respond right in adversity is when you find the presence of God nearest you. It is your response to adversity that determines how blessed you are in life.
It all comes down to verse 12 which says, “Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” The only way you are going to respond right when others wrong you is to look for eternal rewards instead of the temporary acceptance of man. You will be able to keep your testimony when you realize that God will reward you when you get to Heaven for doing what is right in adversity.