With every new year comes the hopes of another fresh chance to achieve your happily ever after… What might that dream life look like for you?
Maybe it’s getting into that top school. Quitting your dead-end job to do what you love for a living. Marriage. Kids. Moving to that other country where the grass is surely greener.
Over Chinese New Year, it’s customary for us to wish our loved ones the traditional “blessings”: health, wealth, and happiness. But have you ever really sat down to ponder what a truly blessed life actually looks like for Christians as defined by our creator God?
A classic Bible passage to go to is Matthew 5, when Jesus teaches his disciples in the Sermon on the Mount, where he opens with The Beatitudes (or “blessings”). If you’ve been going to church for a while, it can be easy to be numb to this list, but for its original audience, I can imagine this being quite shocking! It’s definitely different from the #blessed images we’ve seen for years on our social feeds.
The list of people Jesus defines as blessed includes those who are “poor in spirit” (verse 3), “those who mourn” (4), “the meek” (5), “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness” (6), and those who are “persecuted” on the account of Jesus (11). He does elaborate on why that is though. The reason these people are blessed is because the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to them. Jesus’ disciples are those who belong to his kingdom, and not the kingdom of this world.
Jesus Christ came into this world to reconcile sinners to God by taking on the punishment on the Cross in our place. That is mankind’s biggest problem. We were once enemies of God but Jesus came to save us so that we can live the ultimate blessed life – to enjoy a restored relationship with our creator God. Our greatest blessing as Christians is that we can be certain of our future life in the new creation with our heavenly father for all of eternity.
In his kindness, God may also choose to bless us with many smaller gifts throughout our short life here now. However, it would be a shame if we got so distracted that we valued these little gifts more than the greatest blessing that we already have.
This Chinese New Year, let’s not forget to wish each other the greatest blessing of them all – deep joy in the gospel. Because through Jesus, we get to enjoy a restored relationship with God and be a part of his family. Now that’s blessed.