How do we understand the word, Blessed, and to what degree does it affect our view of God, the World, our lives, and what we have to look forward to? I'll briefly set the stage for some discussion on this important topic, then i'll wait for some more insights from anybody who will chime in.
The real meaning of 'blessed' is very dear to my heart because it has been something i've wrestled with throughout my whole life. We were pretty tight financially for most of my childhood, and we were inclined to consider ourselves blessed when we got an unexpected source of income, or were cleared of a debt we thought we were still in bondage to. For a few years I went to a church that used this word blessed so often and it was seen as a real gauge for whether or not one was obeying God and receiving the rewards that supposedly come from such obedience. From such thinking I, like most american christians, considered myself to be blessed when I had material or social comfort, and if that stuff wasn't there, I struggled to see myself as having Gods favor.
But is this accurate? Jesus himself used the word "Blessed" for the first part of the "Sermon on the Mount". He said people are blessed when they are: Poor in Spirit, Gentle, merciful, peace-makers, pure-in-heart, hungry & thirsty for righteousness, Persecuted, etc. Surely one who is being persecuted doesn't consider him/herself to be blessed. Of course one might think people who obeys these things will be blessed, but that doesn't fall into line with the whole theme of his sermon. Is 2 Corinthians 4:6 the real basis for blessedness, and everything else comes as a fruit from that? I will say that I have come to live out of an understanding that is very different from what I discussed in the first paragraph, but I don't want to go into great deal about it yet. I want to hear your thoughts on these things first and I look forward to more quality discussion:1.) What is your understanding of the word 'blessed' and how does that affect your view of God, life, after-life, material possessions, etc.? 2.) Practically speaking, how does your understanding of this word (question #1) affect your life... on a day-to-day basis?