Posted in Christian Living, Faith

Why Blessings Trump Happiness


bible in hand

The gospel music sister act, Mary Mary, has a hit song titled “Go Get It” that is all about being your time to claim the blessings which are promised to those who believe.  The chorus proclaims:

Go get it, Go Get it, Go get it, Go get it, Go get it
Go get yo blessing
Go get it, Go get it, Go get it, Go get it, Go get it, Go get it
It’s yo time, it’s yo time, it’s yo time, it’s yo time

At first, you may think, why do I have to go get my blessing?  Isn’t it coming to me from God?  But this response to the song’s command would make the mistake of confusing the concept of blessing with happiness.  

Happiness is a particularly modern invention.  If you were to go back even two generations to your grandparents’ day (assuming you’re 40+ reading this), you might even get a strange look for an answer if you asked about happiness.

It is easy to fall into the trap of equating happiness with things, especially in the consumer-driven world in which we Americans live. But then, we have done the exact opposite to what Christ admonished us to do, for wealth of things on this earth is treasure stored that perishes, rather than the treasures of heaven which we really should be seeking.

More than one good sermon I’ve heard in recent years hinges on the spiritual truth that God is not concerned with our happiness. Instead, God has His priorities set upon our claiming of His blessings.

In order to wrap my mind around the difference between happiness and blessings, I began by pulling out my Nave’s Topical Bible. In it, I found more than 700 verses that relate to God’s blessings, under such categories as:

  • Responsive blessings of the Law
  • Divine, contingent upon obedience
  • Spiritual, from God
  • Temporal, from God
  • Temporal, from God exemplified

As I began reading through these verses early this morning, I was immediately struck by a pattern to them that basically boils down to this:

For those who follow the commands of our loving God, whatever we have will always be enough, whether we be overflowing with goods or sick and destitute. For those who ignore the invitation of that same loving God, even the greatest wealth of the land will never be enough.

What does enough look like when we are believers in Christ? I believe it looks like “the peace that surpasses understanding” (Philippians 4:7),  like the mother who has lost her only child but can find the strength to praise God for the years with which He blessed her with a soul that was always God’s to begin with, like the messenger of the Word who can be spat upon, beaten, abused and turn the other cheek for His name’s sake, like the person suffering from the chemical imbalance of depression who makes herself get up on Sunday morning and worship a God whose purpose is beyond her understanding but to be believed.

So, since designer handbags only lead us down the yellow brick road to a wrinkled old man behind a curtain, the ultimate illusion, it makes sense to seek God’s blessings instead of the commercialized message of happiness.

I heard a sermon this week by Rick Atchley of the Hills Church of Christ in which he encouraged his listeners to repeat the phrase: God is “awe-full.”  Worried?  Tired?  Sick?  Think about God’s awe-fullness, and you will begin to feel better.  Christ promised us,  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid  (John 14:27).

Blessing means being in a place where whatever you have is enough because you have the promise of God.  The peace that comes with putting God first by loving Jesus and doing what Jesus told us to do is so filling that whatever we have on this earth is enough.

On the flip side, without God and His peace, you can be the richest person on the planet and still it won’t be enough.

Blessing equals FULLNESS.  And Christ wants us to live life to the full (John 10:10).

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Author:

I am a 40-something Texan with a feisty cat and a supportive husband of 20 years. With a Master's degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, I have taught creative writing at Texas Tech, won awards for my writing and been blessed to be mentored by Horn Professor and poet Dr. Walt McDonald. I earn a living by helping my husband's family run a health food store, but my avocation is writing. I hope you enjoy reading about some of my triumphs and tragedies as I continue to work on figuring out what life is all about and on growing my ability to share my writing. May your own journey be a blessed one.

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