The word blessed is a wonderful word. Christians use the words blessed and blessing a lot, and most of the time we mean it. There are times when we use it as an expression to terminate a conversation that is going too long. We will say something to the effect of, "Well, that's great. Wow. Hey, praise the Lord and God bless you." This can be translated, "Please stop talking now." That, of course, is not the proper way to use it.
Blessed is a Christian word. It is a spiritual word. It is a biblical word. And it has been hijacked by our culture. People may talk about "blessings" in their lives, but the nonbeliever has no idea what a real blessing is, because only the child of God truly knows what it is to be blessed. It is also worth noting that Jesus both began and concluded His earthly ministry blessing people.
So what does it mean to be blessed? The word blessed Jesus used in the Sermon on the Mount is from the Greek word makarios, which means to be happy or blissful, but it also means a self-contained happiness. The Greeks called the Island of Cyprus "the happy isle." They believed that because of its geographical location, perfect climate, and fertile soil that anyone who lived on Cyprus had it made in the shade. And the term they associated with the island was makarios. They believed everything you needed to be happy was right there on Cyprus.
We can't all move to Cyprus, but the idea is that our happiness is independent of our circumstances. It is self-contained, meaning that regardless of what is happening to us externally, we can be truly happy internally. We can be genuinely blessed as followers of Jesus Christ.
Taken from "Blessed" by Harvest Ministries (used by permission).
Pastor Greg Laurie serves as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, which has campuses in Southern California and Hawaii. He is the author of more than 70 books, hosts the nationally syndicated radio broadcast A New Beginning, and is the founder of Harvest Crusades and Harvest at Home.