6 Minute Read + Scripture readings
(If you want to listen to an audio version of today’s blog post, simply go to https://anchor.fm/mattellis1997, or search for “Reflections on Truth” by Matt Ellis wherever you download your favorite podcasts.)
Today’s Bible Reading:
Today’s Bible Verse(s):
Roman 4:7-8 (CSB) “Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the person the Lord will never charge with sin.”
Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):
As we consider the verses that I have chosen for today, there are two things that come to mind:
First, let’s talk about the word “blessed.”
When we look at that word, we see a word that we rarely use during the course of our day. Sure, we may sparingly use the word “blessed” (one syllable) but we never, ever say it like some people say it as they read the Bible out loud (two syllables).
And this point is significant because when we look at this very positive word in the Bible that we don’t use much in our everyday, ordinary vocabulary, it should cause us to ponder why we don’t use it more often.
Is it because we don’t feel blessed?
Is it because we aren’t even sure what the word means?
Well, let’s deal with that last question first. The word “blessed” could better be translated “happy.” It is the Greek word “makarios” and it speaks of a joyous state of mind. The one who is “makarios” is happy because they know they are the recipient of some very wonderful things. For the Christian, they understand this to mean that they are recipients of God’s gifts, God’s truths, and God Himself. When we live in light of this knowledge and fully embrace it, we naturally have a smile on our face and a song in our heart, regardless of what’s going on around us.
Honestly, friend, life can get tough. Sometimes really tough. And if you choose to keep your focus on how tough life is, that mindset will quickly take you to some very bad places. If you keep doing it, don’t be surprised if you end up struggling with anxiety and depression.
My wife and I have learned that especially in those times when life gets very difficult, you’ve got intentionally look for the cloud’s silver lining. You’ve got to acknowledge the good that God is bringing about even in the midst of the trauma. You’ve got to look for how you have been blessed, even when things happen to you that you perceive to be “bad.”
Which leads us to the second point and back to the verse that I’ve chosen for today: What is the wonderful gift that the “blessed/happy/makarios” person receives?
Romans 4:7-8 (CSB) “Blessed are those whose lawless acts are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the person the Lord will never charge with sin.”
This verse speaks of someone who is happy because they are forgiven! Their sins are covered! There is no one left to condemn them (Romans 8:1) because their sin debt against a holy God has been paid in full … by Jesus.
So, even if you can’t find that silver lining to the clouds that sometimes seek to overcome you, realize that if you are saved, you are the object of a holy God’s pleasure. Because you have been forgiven and have been credited with the righteousness of Jesus, God is with you and smiles continually as He thinks of you. And, one day, He’ll take you home to be with Him where there will never again be a single dark cloud to darken your days.
Talk about blessed!
Friend, when is the last time that you got a smile on your face and a song in your heart when you reflected on how much God has blessed you? When is the last time you thought about what Jesus did for you on that old rugged cross? Why not spend some intentional time today reflecting on just how blessed you are, especially because of Jesus.
If you do, you are simultaneously working toward a happy state of mind. It’s a win/win. So, don’t wait. Do it today?
* * * * * * * * * *
Lord Jesus, the world around me periodically threatens to arouse anxiety and discouragement in my mind and heart. I don’t want to go there. In fact, I’m convinced that You don’t desire for me to go to those dark places. So, if I’m not already actively, regularly reflecting on how blessed I am as Your child, help me to begin today. Thank You for all that You have done, are doing, and will do for me. Amen.