The #Blessed Life I Never Knew I Wanted

A #blessed life. At times, we’ve all wanted it. Strived for it. Coveted it in other people. Beautiful kids, a Pinterest worthy house, a tropical vacation, and flawless skin. Not wanting to admit it, inwardly our flesh craves it. Comfort, security, success, accolades. Adventure, intrigue, beauty, acknowledgement. A quick search of Instagram produced 62,858,002 posts tagged #blessed. Scrolling through the pages you see pretty things. Pretty people. Pretty decorations. Pretty achievements. Pretty lives.

What if the #blessed life we’ve been chasing is backwards to the one we were created to live?

The #blessed life we put on social media tends to show what we have. What we think is good. What makes us happy. Not always the intention of our heart, what we consider #blessed can paint a picture into what we value, cherish, or chase. Most of the time, in my own life at least, it has been mostly about ME.

Simply put…I think we are chasing the wrong thing.

Jesus says in Matthew 5:

And he [Jesus] opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Will I say my life is #blessed when my mom dies of cancer, even if it pulls me closer to Him? Will I thank God for tight finances because it allows us to wait and see His provision? Will I have joy when I get diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, because it actually makes me dependent in a way I never knew possible? What about when I blow my knee, my car breaks down, my kid gets bullied, or my friend walks away? Where are these #blessed posts? Where are the proclamations of the hard getting re-purposed for good? We don’t see it because it is a backwards theology. 100% counter cultural. It doesn’t make sense to the world. And at times, hasn’t made sense to me.

Jesus says in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they  [we] may have life, and have it to the full.”

Jesus humbled Himself by coming to this earth to give us life – life for eternity with Him, but also life on this mess of an earth too. The full life He came to bring doesn’t include a fancy new sofa or face wash that takes away my wrinkles. It isn’t about my children’s successes or my new dream job. It certainly isn’t about my  ambitions or achievements. Our #blessed life shouldn’t leave people jealous, coveting, or envious. It shouldn’t push friends away, cause division, or be self-seeking. The things that cause us to have a blessed life should bring people back to our relationship with our Savior. We are blessed because He redeems our pain. We are blessed because He strengthens our weak knees and feeble arms. We are blessed because He gives us courage to enter others pain. We are blessed because we have been granted the opportunity to believe in Him and suffer for Him. We are blessed because He is enough, and I am not.

So these are the two questions I have been pondering:

  • What about my life has produced eternal blessings? Things that matter? Things that last?
  • How can I use my earthly blessings to bring people back to the One who gave them to me in the first place?

Does this mean that we can’t buy nice face wash? No. Does it mean that we can’t pursue a dream or start a business? Not at all. Does it mean that we should hide our pretty things and pretend like they don’t excite us? I don’t think so. Does it mean we can’t step into a calling because of how it might be perceived? Absolutely not. And for heavens sake, please don’t hide the pictures of your beautiful children. Some of these things just make the world more comfortable. And that is okay! Others of these things could be our God-ordained calling. If so, we have a duty to step into them with obedience! All of these things are gifts that can point us back to our Creator and be used for His good purposes. And so we can and always should be thankful, celebrating with one another as they come.

The point is we have to stop CHASING after the #blessed life of this WORLD, pursuing it at all cost and for the end goal of having the life the world tells us to have.

Instead, let us be a generation of people that seek God first. Our motivation being love. Our intentions being pure. Our celebration of what God is doing being genuine. Let our desire be first and only for Him and the things He treasures most. Love for God and for other people.

The most #blessed men and women I know aren’t the ones with the biggest paychecks, largest platforms, most followers on Instagram, or nicest things. They are the men and women I have seen firsthand suffer with grace. Enduring hardship as discipline, they have carried others burdens in light of their own. They have chosen to trust God when the world says to curse Him, knowing what it means to have fellowship with the Spirit. They have lived and loved well despite their own pain or limitations. Their faith is secure. Their hope is contagious. Their joy complete.

THAT is the kind of #blessed life I want. It costs something, most of all my pride, selfishness, and propensity to compare. But my new prayer for today is that I seek Him first so that when others see my blessings they see Jesus before they see me.

Will you chase after this #blessed life with me?

16 thoughts on “The #Blessed Life I Never Knew I Wanted

  1. This is beautiful Sarah Braden! Thank you for sharing such an inspirational post. I’ll admit, my heart aches every time I see “#blessed” because those that are less fortunate are left wondering where is their blessed. May we have courage to be obedient to Christ making eternal impact striving to be a blessing rather than be #blessed according to the highlight reels of the world. – Heather Shipley (Craving God Ministries) http://www.CravingGod.com

    1. Thank you, Heather. I love your point about being the blessing instead of just wanting to be blessed. So true and something that brings lasting joy. Thanks for reading and sharing your viewpoint!

  2. I love this, Sarah. Some similar things have been rolling around in my brain. I especially love the echoes of scriptiure in the next to last paragraph. Thanks for writing down these declarations!

  3. Amen & amen At the ripe age of 76 I couldn’t agree with you more You have #blessed me with your beautiful words of wisdom
    “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus Just to stand upon His promise”

  4. Thank you that was a great comfort during some hard times. And that Jesus died on the cross for all of us. We just need to seek Him. He is the Blessing.

  5. Sarah, God has made you an artist with words. What a simple, yet convicting word… it’s a much-needed convicting to hear the record scratch of my heart and know that we can listen to hear the words of Jesus over our old, worn-out rhetoric of “not good enough.” To God be the glory, great things he has done!
    It is a sweet humbling my friend… keep spurring us on 😉

  6. Hi Sarah,
    I just wanted to thank you for sharing this post with the world. I’ve had words on my heart for 6+ months now, just sitting on my blog waiting to find the right time. After reading your post, it all came to me and became His time. I mentioned you below on my blog for the credit of helping me find the words of a #blessed life. You’re a beautiful writer and I enjoy soaking in your content.
    -Lindsay, Lemons to Love
    https://lemonstolove.com/2017/04/28/the-blessing-of-a-no/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true

    1. Lindsay,
      I am so thankful what God is teaching me has helped you better articulate your own promptings. I love how He gives us one another to help spread the message He desires the world to hear. He is good like that!

  7. Keep writing posts like this one and you will be answering your first question: “What about my life has produced eternal blessings?”

    Paul wrote 12 or 13 (depending on if we give him Hebrews…I do) and look what he went through in Acts to allow God to divide and separate the truth for Paul to be able to articulate in his NT letters to the churches. My personal theory is that what Jesus gave to Paul in this very challenging mission as evangelist to the first-century Greco-Roman world…is what Paul wanted in the depth of his heart…the real truth…and he was willing to pay the price for this invaluable possession.

    I think that is the inner thing that motivated Paul to persecute the early Christian church…he valued his Hebrew religion so much that he attacked this new Christian faith as a threat. Jesus flipped this inner quest for Paul into the genuine John 16:13 adventure of faith…and look what this produced for Paul…and for our benefit today.

    Certainly the life-script for Paul matches Mt. 5:3-11 you quoted above…and not the worldly conventional normalcy and thinking that has to be crucified alongside Jesus when we pick up our cross.

    You have done a great job in articulating this biblically orthodox alternate worldview that is the real and genuine and eternal (1 Jn. 2:15-17).

    I enjoyed your post.

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