Whether it’s within a Christian context or not, you’ve probably heard someone say “hashtag blessed.” If you search “#blessed” on Twitter, millions of posts appear, ranging from pictures of kids to the perfect Starbucks drink. Heck, I’m a victim of saying it from time-to-time. So what’s this obsession with arguably overusing that word in our society? What does it really mean to be blessed?
Often times, we have very specific ways we want those blessings to come. More money, great vacations, career advancement, living in Florida right by Disney World, winning the lotto, getting the girl or the guy, moving to a new house in a new sub, getting a new car—the list goes on. We ask God to bless our marriages, our kids, our grandkids, our futures, our endeavors, our businesses, and our decisions.
And when we ask God to bless us in those specific areas, we sometimes equate the amount of success in those areas with the amount of God’s blessings. If we achieve success, we think, “Wow, God is really blessing me.” On the other hand, if we don’t achieve success, we attribute the lack of blessings with God’s hand of favor removed from us. When we do this, aren’t we setting ourselves up to be disappointed by God? We’re disappointed when our “blessing” doesn’t come as we hoped for. We’re discouraged when others seem to be so blessed but we keep getting passed over. We’re depressed because our prayers seem to go unanswered.
I know in my life I have gone through seasons where I have experienced every one of those feelings. I have been disappointed, discouraged, and depressed because God’s blessings seem to be absent from my life, while everyone else around me has blessings pouring out of their ears.
When I have found myself in that place, I have learned to change my perspective. It’s a slight shift in my mind that results in a huge shift in my heart. And that shift is found by looking at my life through the lens of James 1:17
James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
If you stop and think about that verse, James is saying without question that everything that is good in your life is from God. Everything in your life that you look at and say “it’s perfect” has come from God. Every good and perfect gift is from Him.
This verse has changed my heart time and time again. As I stop and look at my life it has always had “good” things in it. Even in desperate circumstances, there has always been something that I can look up to heaven and say thank you to my heavenly father for.
My challenge to you is this. Rather than looking at your life and thinking that you are being blessed if God does this certain thing for you, or if this situation works out, or the relationship gets better—what if you lived with the perspective of “I am ALREADY blessed” because of what God has done in my life. Every good thing you have or that has happened to you your whole life, including the breath in your lungs, was given to you by God. And because you are already blessed, every good thing that comes your way in the future is icing on the cake of your already blessed life.
So, yeah, we’re pretty #blessed.
– Kevin Valentine I Kensington Orlando, Lead Pastor