What Does it Mean to Be #Blessed?
Are you blessed?
This Christmas we have thanked God for “blessing” us with family, friends, possessions, homes, food, health, and so on. We even head to Instagram and Twitter and post pictures with the hashtag #blessed. This morning there are over 46 million pictures on Instagram tagged “#blessed.” There are cars, pictures of Starbucks lattes, Christmas trees and so on.
We are gearing up to tell our loved ones to have a blessed new year, and I fully expect to see a number of pictures on Instagram with this hashtag posted all over.
But what does it mean to be blessed?
Let’s turn to the Word.
There are so many verses we could go to, to learn what it means to be blessed, but Psalm 1 is a great place to start. Let’s read it now:
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
According to Psalm 1, to be blessed we must seek God in his Word and avoid the wicked, sinners, and scoffers. In His law we delight, and through it we are blessed.
Verse 3 gets to the heart of the matter.
It is here where find the answer to our question of what it means to be blessed.
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.”
“He is like a tree planted ”
I used to read this as, “He is like a tree.” I would picture a strong, immovable oak tree, majestic. But I would over look the word “planted.” This is an important little word. It is intentional. This tree was planted there by someone for a reason. This tree is chosen for the garden, cultivated, cared for…not a wild tree, that no one cares about, but a fruit tree that is tended to daily.
“By streams of water;”
Spurgeon states about this, “so that even if one river should fail, he hath another. The rivers of pardon and the rivers of grace, the rivers of the promise and the rivers of communion with Christ, are never-failing sources of supply.”
Oh isn’t that a wonderful description of the waters for which we thirst? When we live daily in the Word, we quench our thirst on the water of Jesus Christ, we hear the promise that,”whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
“that yields its fruit in its season”
Fruitfulness is an essential quality of a believer. Again, I used to read this as all believers yield fruit, and I would overlook the words, “In Season.”
Think about that for a moment.
We don’t pick the apples out of season, for they will be green and sour. We pick them when they are ready to be picked, when they are bright red and full flavoured. So also, as a young believer begins to grow in faith, as he feeds on the Word of God, as he drinks in the rivers of grace, of promise and communion with Christ, the fruit begins to grow. Here we read the promise that this fruit will, must inevitably by the working of the Spirit, come to maturity in Christ.
And what is this fruit?
The Fruit which is revealed in Galatians 5 : “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;”.
“and its leaf does not wither.”
John Calvin states about this, that the writer, “meant nothing more than that the children of God constantly flourish, and are always watered with the secret influences of divine grace, so that whatever may befall them is conducive to their salvation;” Both the fruit and the leaf will prosper. The believer will neither lose his inner beauty nor his fruitfulness.
“In all that he does, he prospers.”
What a promise!
But we must be wary not to think that this is a promise of health and wealth. As Spurgeon comments, “It is not outward prosperity which the Christian most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for. We often, like Jehoshaphat, make ships to go to Tarshish for gold, but they are broken at Ezion-geber; but even here there is a true prospering, for it is often for the soul’s health that we would be poor, bereaved, and persecuted. Our worst things are often our best things. As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man’s mercies, so there is a blessing concealed in the righteous man’s crosses, losses, and sorrows. The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit.”
So I pray that the Lord would bless you.
That you might delight in the law of the Lord, which brings life through the streams of living water that are found only in Christ Jesus. May you produce fruit in season, through the power of the Holy Spirit, who will bring that fruit to perfection. May your leaf not wither. And may the Lord prosper you with the riches that are found only in Him.