We think of blessings as being those things that are physical and material in nature, e.g., if we are healthy, we consider ourselves blessed. If we have enough money in the bank and the bills are paid, we say we are blessed. If we live in a nice home and drive a good car, we connect that with blessing. Yes, those things are blessings from the Lord, but Jesus spoke about other blessings which we need to observe.
In Matt. 5, in Jesus’ longest sermon, He said from verses 3-10 – “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Here we notice that to be TRULY BLESSED, we need our Saviour to open our eyes to the genuine blessings He gives graciously to us. Eph. 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms.”
When Jesus REDEEMED us, He forgave us and gave us everything we need to serve Him. He helps us to be content, successful, obedient, happy, and useful in His Kingdom. These are major blessings we can rejoice about! Eph. 1:7-8 states, “In Him we have REDEMPTION through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” In verse 7, the Greek word for “redemption” means to ”release a captive after the payment of a ransom price.” It is the sense of buying a slave and then immediately turning that slave loose. This is what Jesus did for us! By His grace and love, He paid an agonizing price on the Cross, which “releases” us from the captivity of sin when we surrender our lives to Him. What grace, love, and blessing!
I end with a few verses from an old hymn – “Count your blessings.”
“When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings money cannot buy –
Your reward in heaven, and your Home on high.”