3- (March 2017) Recognize Your Blessings

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Matthew 5:1-12

If there was anything you could change about your life, what would it be? Are you good at differentiating between need and want? Are you aware of the Bible’s teaching that our problems, pains, and persecutions are part of God’s plan to grow us into mature, functional representations of His grace to others?

Wow- that’s a lot to think about! Sorry if it baked your brain a little- I know it does mine! The bottom line is this: we need to spend a little more time thinking about how truly blessed we are!
The basic meaning of the Greek term translated “blessed” is “happy.” There have been several Bible versions which used this term in translating the Beatitude text, and in other places in the scriptures. Unfortu-nately, “happy” has been reduced in modern times to a feeling associated with getting what we want- our needs, whims and desires met. We talk about our “right” to be happy; we shun anything or anyone who limits or encroaches on our happiness. We miss the point of Jesus’ use of this particular word.

The full understanding of Jesus’ view of happiness is summed up by one commentator like this: “The believer is indwelt by the Holy Spirit because of Christ and as a result should be fully satisfied no matter the circumstances.” Happiness, by Jesus’ definition, is “satisfaction from God, not from favorable circumstances.” It means coming to the place where you are confident enough that God will meet every need, material, emotional, and spiritual. It is contentment with what He provides (Philippians 4:12-13).

So, the question “are you happy” is a challenge to Christians to evaluate your level of trust in what God is doing in your life. That means it’s often not an easy question to answer. It calls us to look honestly at our motives, priorities, and desires. On what are our hearts truly set? More about this next month….!