Psalm 128, Isaiah 65:17-25, Romans 4:6-13

Every Sunday morning, I make my way to the lower level entrance and greet Ms. Mattie. She is a person that magnifies Joy. She is always dressed in her Sunday best, and if you ever call her home, she will answer by shouting, “Praise the Lord!” When I ask her how she is doing this fine Sunday morning, she will enthusiastically say, “I am blessed!”

Living a blessed life requires us to look beyond the blessings to the one who blesses. It’s about being full of gratitude for Christ, not just concentrating on the blessings He gives us but the work that He is doing in our lives. But what happens when life is hard? Do we still “feel” blessed? Are we measuring our blessings by the “good” that is in our lives or by the victorious spirit that God has given us?

These scriptures make me more alert to the ordinary and even messy areas of life that God can use to show us His blessings. A phone call that interrupts our well thought out and planned day, a broken heater which teaches us patience, a miserable cold that reminds us to rely on God and His healing, family dinners around the table that create conversations and laughter, a simple text from a friend that reminds us to pray for those near and far, a promotion, a birth or even a death.

We aren’t promised a life free of trials and tribulations. In fact, James 1:2-4 tells us, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” This life can be, and we will face many trials, but how we overcome them will be our victory!

Because of what Jesus has accomplished on the cross, we have been blessed. When He died on the cross for you and me, He did the impossible! We know that He will look after us, both in this life and in Heaven. We look forward to the ultimate blessing that we have been promised, life in the new creation where all the evil of this life has been destroyed and we get endless time with our Lord.

 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

Rev. Gabbee Bagby – Discipleship Pastor Columbia First Church of the Nazarene – Columbia, SC

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