This is not meant to judge anyone, but rather to share my own thoughts with what I call “Christianese” or rather the phrases we use when talking with others. A few years ago a new employee started work in our office services department. When secretaries would go in for assistance and ask how she was doing or when people passed her in the halls and inquired as to her well being, she would always respond, “I’m blessed and highly favored.” Well, one day I overheard a group of ladies talking about her and the responses she gave them. One of the ladies decided to ask me if by chance I knew what she meant because they didn’t. Although I knew where they were going with that, I answered and said, “if she’s blessed and highly favored you’ll have to ask HER why” (you see I’ve learned and am still learning not to answer for what comes out of the mouths of others). But, have we ever really considered what being blessed really means?
As I read FB posts and I hear conversations of others, that phrase is said a lot. However, when put into context of the conversation, generally people say that only when they feel they’re on top and winning, when they think they’re getting what’s “due” them or if they feel God is answering prayers for things they’ve asked for. While having things can be a blessing, being blessed has nothing to do with possessions.
Mark 8:35-37: Jesus says, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” That’s a powerful question to ponder, “what will a man give (what material possession, what relationship) in exchange for his soul? What God wants prospering above all else, is our soul.
When I think about Christians in other countries who are being persecuted and put to death for believing the gospel, those who exist on dimes a day, those who lack the beautiful worship centers and hide in homes to meet, are we saying they are not blessed and lack God’s favor? Look at what God said about Paul in Acts 9: “But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My name’s sake.” Make no mistake about it, there will be suffering for Christ’s sake, but he said you will be blessed for it and yet we see blessings as anything other than suffering.
Christians have been taught and feel compelled to make salvation a matter of works and visible things instead of God’s grace. No matter how clear the Bible is on the subject, folks will often pluck out a verse here or there and build a works-salvation doctrine around it and center on things to be the visible evidence of God’s blessings. A time of shaking is coming, but those who are rooted and established in the faith need not worry. For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world, and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” [I John 5:4-5]. Let’s keep our focus, don’t get sidetracked and look neither to the left nor to the right. Stand firm to the end, if you’re abiding in the Word and bear His name, you are blessed and highly favored!
Belinda Powell, ©June 2014