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Vaneetha Rendall Risner is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to Desiring God. Moreover, they wouldn’t need to cry out to God for deliverance; everything would already be perfect. Earthly blessings are temporary; they can all be taken away. ” This revolutionary idea of blessing is also firmly established in Scripture.

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She blogs at danceintherain.com, although she doesn’t like rain and has no sense of rhythm.

Vaneetha and her husband, Joel, live in Raleigh, North Carolina. A quick look at Facebook and Twitter shows how many people today feel #blessed.

In our social-media world, saying you’re blessed can be a way of boasting while trying to sound humble.

We attribute our undeserved gifts to “God’s blessings.” We talk about ministries being blessed. Rather than turning to God, they might feel self-sufficient and proud. After all, their hard work would be yielding good fruit. What if trials of this life — the rain, the storms, the hardest nights — are your mercies in disguise? And often it is the struggles and trials, the aching disappointments and the unfulfilled longings that best enable us to do that. While they sometimes unravel us, they can also push us to a deeper life with God than we ever thought possible. God’s greatest blessing always rests in God himself.

For believers, is the blessed life synonymous with the successful life? A loving marriage, obedient children, a vibrant ministry, a healthy body, a successful career, trusted friends, financial abundance — if these are the characteristics of a blessed life, then having all of them should translate into an extraordinarily blessed life. If someone had all those things, would they be extraordinarily blessed? And yet, in the midst of those painful events, I experienced God’s richest blessings. As Laura Story asks in her song “Blessings,” “What if your blessings come through rain drops? (James ) “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on. According to the Key-Word Study Bible, “The Greek word translated ” (emphasis added). Scripture shows that blessing is anything God gives that makes us fully satisfied in him. Anything that helps us relinquish the temporal and hold on more tightly to the eternal. They may make us delight, not in God, but in his gifts.

While my trials were not blessings in themselves, they were channels for them. (Romans 4:7; quoting Psalm 32:1) Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial. On the contrary, blessing is typically connected with either poverty and trial or the spiritual benefits of being joined by faith to Jesus. Great families, financial wealth, and good health are all wonderful gifts we can thank God for, but they are not his greatest blessings.

My trials grounded my faith in ways that prosperity and abundance never could. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake . ” (Luke ) Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation , 19:9) There is no hint of material prosperity or perfect circumstances in any New Testament reference. We long to know that God is for us and with us and in us.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:3–11) “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!

Vaneetha Rendall Risner is a freelance writer and a regular contributor to Desiring God.

She blogs at danceintherain.com, although she doesn’t like rain and has no sense of rhythm.

Vaneetha and her husband, Joel, live in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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