What does it really mean to be blessed? To have a blessed life?
We often say “we’re blessed” when something “good” happens to us, don’t we? When there is some positive gain or progress in our lives. When there is some kind of success. Maybe when there’s some good news to celebrate. Or a victory. A breakthrough. A reprieve. A promotion. An overcoming.
At the end of the day, our assessment of “being blessed” normally comes down to whether something makes us feel good, joyful, excited, safe, secure and successful.
But I wonder if that’s really all there is to BEING blessed – just FEELING blessed!?
Well, James chapter 1 seems to offer a different perspective: 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Consider it PURE JOY when you face TRIALS of MANY KINDS…. Wow!
Why? Because it seems that “tough times” produce something in us that “good times” don’t. Hard times take us deeper and make us stronger. Hard times develop long term character and growth. Hard times train and prepare us for future assignments and callings from God. They force us to learn perseverance. And perseverance is of such importance to our spiritual and personal growth that God’s Word says, if we cooperate and allow it to finish its work, it will make us MATURE, COMPLETE, NOT LACKING ANYTHING!
And that certainly sounds like “being blessed,” doesn’t it!? Maturity, completeness, fulfilment.
But remember, to get it we gotta go through it!
Today if you are feeling like your trials are never ending, that there’s no progress, no breakthrough, no answered prayers, that life is just hard work, that it’s like you’re just putting one foot in front of the other… then remember that God says “when you face such trials of many kinds” understand that there’s more going on than what you just see and feel.
If you cooperate with God in your trials by faith and with perseverance – believing He’s in control and able to work all things together for your good – He will make you mature, complete and not lacking anything of genuine spiritual and personal substance.
You see, God’s goal for you isn’t just to make you happy – it’s to make you joyful in all circumstances! It’s not just to make you comfortable externally – but to grow your character inwardly! It’s not just to make you successful in the world – but to be blessed by your Father in Heaven.