What Does It Mean to Be Blessed?

Simple Takeaway:

In Scripture, blessings are not tied to circumstantial gain. Biblically, the word “blessed” means to have the knowledge, awareness, and access to God’s goodness through faith in Jesus. So circumstances should be reminders of our blessings, not indicators of them.

We’ve all heard someone describe something good that’s happened to them and then say that they’re “blessed.”

The implication is that something good has happened because God has given his blessing. But what about when something bad happens?

Are we still blessed?

When someone says, “I lost my job today…”, is it appropriate to follow that with, “Guess you’re not blessed”?

Do you see the problem with using the term “blessed” the way we typically use it?

We tend to connect blessings with personal gain.

We say we’re blessed when we’re healthy, wealthy, well-fed, and comfortable.

Even when we’re being humble about it, and we say something like, “I’m just blessed to be alive,” we’re still implying that we’re only blessed when we have good things.

What if you weren’t alive?

What if you died and went to be with Jesus for eternity? Would that be considered “not blessed”?

This kind of thinking starts to lead us down a weird path pretty quickly.

We’ve come to associate good things happening with the goodness of God. That can be particularly dangerous when what you consider to be “good” isn’t happening to you at the moment.

So what does the word “blessed” really mean?

Jesus used the word “blessed” often – and the word he used in Greek for “blessed” essentially just means “happy” or “to be envied”.

The biblical meaning for “blessed” describes what happens when we receive and respond to God in faith and he responds by drawing near to us and calling us his children.

We’re “blessed” – “to be envied” or “happy” – because we’re positioned in such a way that we can fully experience the goodness of God.

In Scripture, blessings are not tied to circumstantial gain.

We don’t see Jesus telling people that they’re blessed because they have money or because they’re physically healthy.

Those things can certainly remind us of our blessing from God, but they aren’t an indication of blessings.

The Biblical Definition of Blessing

The biblical meaning of the word “blessed” is to have the knowledge, awareness, and access to God’s goodness through faith.

In the Old Testament, there are a couple of Hebrew words translated as “blessed”. One of them essentially means “happiness” and the other one means “to kneel or to adore”.

The book of Psalms says to “bless” the Lord because of who he is and how good he is to us.

This describes a blessing as happiness and adoration given.

Sometimes that adoration is given by us to God (we bless him), but it’s always given by God to us through Jesus (He blesses us).

Regardless of how good or bad your circumstances are, you are blessed.

The Bible uses a lot of different ways of describing what that looks like, but the ultimate definition remains the same.

Blessings do not, however, come from good circumstances that fall in our favor.

We’re not blessed because we have a good job, financial wellbeing, a healthy family, or anything else for that matter.

We’re blessed because we have the incredible privilege of knowing and walking with our Creator. 

Do our circumstances remind us of that fact? Sure.

But don’t grow accustomed to connecting being “blessed” with your circumstances.

Doing so causes us to think that when we’re good, our circumstances are good, then God is good. When the truth is, God is good regardless of circumstances.