For some reason I get a kick out of making up ridiculous hashtags. Sometimes I actually post them for a bit of ironic fun, and sometimes I just laugh over them to myself privately while receiving strange looks. Other times, I read hashtags that don’t sit well with me, because if they’re intended to encapsulate a truth, they leave me disappointed or even frustrated… Sometimes I feel like they can be trite, alienating, maybe condescending. Perhaps I’m bothered because they confirm some brokenness in me or my disappointment spurs me to look deeper where I find conviction.
Blessed is one such hashtag. Sometimes it sits well with my soul. Sometimes I am extremely irritated by it. It could be more a reflection of my mood at the time than actual discernment regarding the intent of person posting it (and that’s for me to explore with the Spirit’s help). But maybe it’s because I am aware of the disparity among people; the “have” and the “have not” – whether it’s material or relational, whether it’s because of personal choices or because of the fallen world in which we live. Maybe it’s because I realize that there can be different ways of defining “blessed,” and some definitions seem to matter more than others.
The Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus describes “blessed” as both an adjective and a verb with words and expressions such as:
Hmm, does that mean if I’m unlucky or am living out unfortunate circumstances, that I am not blessed? I see why sometimes it is too meaningful a word to describe temporary and trivial things, and yet it is often attached to the transient and broken images that claim to be the source of our happiness.
Scripture teaches us that being blessed is more than just being happy. Psalm 1 and 2 refer to a deeper understanding. Being blessed, means being approved. We ultimately look for happiness and approval from one of two sources. It either comes from the world or it comes from God and we cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24-33). Above all else, Jesus calls us to seek God’s kingdom and live righteously and God will give us everything we need – true blessing. The path to approval from God is through His Son, Jesus and is revealed to us in His word.
There are only two ways to live. One is cursed and wretched, and the other is blessed. The path we all begin on is the wretched one- the one separating us from God – the one cursed as a result of the Fall, a choice, in the Garden of Eden. If we want to experience true and lasting blessing, we must make a choice to get off this path and deliberately take the one journeying with God. The cross intersects this wretched way and creates a new “cross” road that we can choose to be led down by Christ. He is THE Way!
We can avoid the wrong road by delighting in God’s word. We meditate on it and find that God’s character and nature are revealed in it. His Word exposes our moral weakness and failure – our human condition is uncovered in brokenness and wretchedness. It also reveals Jesus, (for those of us living after the incarnation) the Living Word to us. We have been shown the way to deep and lasting happiness and satisfaction. We are shown how to find favour with God! Even sinful and rebellious people can feel heaven’s smile. “It is well with my soul,” even when life doesn’t turn out perfectly, we can have a different kind of happy.
The Good News is that when at the “cross” road, we don’t have to begin cleaning up our lives before we can step onto God’s path to blessing. We make the choice and begin stepping in faith. When we delight in God’s path, in just walking with Jesus, this Word of God changes us. It impacts future choices and changes how we live. This word reorders our disordered hearts that often want the wrong thing at the wrong time. His word keeps revealing where this way takes us – “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” (Psalm 119:105) As we walk with Jesus, we are healed, we are released, we are transformed and sanctified! In another word, we are blessed!
If God was making a list of things that make you happy, how would it compare to the one you’ve made for yourself? Do you realize, He even has a list? Will you seek it in His word? Will you trust His list over your own? Will you choose His Way?
A different kind of happy