What does it mean to be “blessed?”
Take a quick scan of Etsy, or Instagram, or peruse Hobby Lobby, and you’ll find hundreds of t-shirts and home décor screaming the word, “Blessed!”
Perhaps we’re trying to give God the proper credit for the pleasant outcomes of our lives. God does give good gifts. A job is a gift. Marriage is a gift. Children are gifts. A healthy body is a gift. But should these be how we measure the blessedness of our lives? What if we’re jobless, or poor, or unmarried, or childless, or sick, or dying of cancer?
What does it mean to be blessed? The Bible certainly answers this question. Psalm 1 begins with: “Blessed is the man . . . whose delight is the law of the Lord and in His law he meditates day and night.” Jesus began his preaching ministry in Matthew 5 by proclaiming, “Blessed are the poor in spirit . . . those who mourn . . . the meek . . . those who hunger and thirst for righteousness . . . the merciful . . . the pure in heart . . .”
Do you count yourself blessed, and if so, why?
Psalm 32: The Blessed Life
Psalm 32 helps us see what the truly blessed life is:
Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
True blessedness is forgiveness. That’s the main point of this psalm.
When David says “blessed,“ he’s doesn’t merely mean “happy.” He is referring to the comprehensive well-being of his soul. He is saying, “Oh how graciously and completely has the Lord lavished His goodness upon this person.” Notice then, according to David, the blessed person is the forgiven person. If you are a forgiven-by-God person, then you’re an infinitely blessed person.
Forgiven of what, we might ask?
The word “transgression” in verse one means crossing a forbidden line. It’s being and doing what God explicitly prohibits. “Sin,” means to miss or fall short of a perfect standard, to fail to be or do what God commands. “Iniquity,” in verse 2, refers to moral wickedness or injustice, the perversion of what God considers holy. “Deceit,” or “guile,” which refers to an impure, twisted, and dishonest condition of the heart.
With those four words, David is labeling our deepest problem as human beings. He points to the evidence that condemns each and every one of us, for we have all transgressed the lines of God’s Law, we have all missed the mark of his glory, we have all corrupted what he declares holy and hidden our sins in deceit. The man who wrote this Psalm also wrote Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” An honest look at ourselves should cause us to agree with Romans 3:23: “I have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Don’t you want to hear: “Forgiven!” Do you want your sins covered? Guilt removed?
They can be!
David reminds us that the blessed are all who acknowledge their sin, confess it to the Lord, and by faith receive the forgiveness that is only available through him.
Praying to God
How should we respond to the reality that blessedness is found, first and foremost, in God’s forgiveness? Verse six offers some help:
Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
There’s an application here for anyone who has never trusted in Christ for the forgiveness of their sins. Pray to God for forgiveness in Christ. Perhaps your life is a total disaster. Riddled with failures. Full of broken relationships. Your sin has torpedoed your job, your marriage, your health, your life. Or maybe life has been a dream for you and yet you’re still miserable in your sinful condition. Pray to God. You can find him. He is a gracious God.
There’s another application to those who are already Christians, and yet playing with sin, nursing iniquities, trying to cling to Jesus and the world at the same time. Run back to Christ in faith to be forgiven and restored. Godliness, according to this verse, is not depending upon your greatness, but depending upon God’s graciousness.
Are You Blessed?
Do you consider yourself blessed?
We pray you do. But not because God helped you to lose 35 pounds, buy a Mercedes, reach retirement, or graduate with straight A’s. Count yourself blessed for no other reason than that your sins are forgiven.
A sinner can be forgiven and washed clean by Christ’s blood. Jesus can be your hiding place. He can preserve you from eternal trouble. He can deliver you from judgment. His steadfast love can surround you. Ask God for forgiveness in Christ. Then live the blessed life.