In the Chinese New Year season, messages of blessings of health, wealth and luck surround us. Do Christians and the rest of the world share an identical desire for the same of blessings or luck?
The prophet Jeremiah points to God as the source of blessings. We are told that the blessed life is found in the person who trusts in the LORD, whose hope and confidence are in Him. Therefore, strictly speaking, ‘blessing’ is a Christian word for it is the outcome of a deep personal relationship with a personal God – as seen in the use of the original Hebrew word for God’s name, Yahweh (spelled in capitals in most English versions). But God’s blessings are never an end in themselves.
True blessings bring us closer in satisfaction in God as our joy and only treasure. It is a whole environment, a whole life of blessedness, like a tree watered endlessly by flowing streams. Although much of the Old Testament shows us how abundance of wealth and conquest of enemies are testimony of God’s blessings, satisfaction in things is not His ultimate goal.
The coming of Jesus changed the definition of blessings and pointed to true blessings. While God may graciously bless with wealth and health, the New Testament almost never mentions material abundance as blessings in themselves. For instance, in the Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-23) it is the poor, the down-trodden, and the persecuted who are blessed!
But the greatest description of blessings that God desires for us above all, is in Christ. We read that in the great letter of Paul in Ephesians 1 which spells out the extraordinary blessings that every believer possesses in Christ.
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. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. Eph 1:3-8
The spiritual blessings that we possess in Christ far outweighs everything because they are eternal while other things – even good things – are temporal.
Jesus is our ultimate blessing. Jesus is also the key to the fulfilment of every blessing promised by God. We find complete satisfaction and eternal security in Him, and therefore are able to rejoice in every situation. This is the blessedness that beats all other blessings.