There are two Greek words defining the word blessed in the New Testament.  They are both worth notice, even though we will be focusing on the latter.  Eulogeo is defined simply as “to speak well of.”  We can speak well of God in praise or witness.  We ask God to show favor on us, which is actually a way of asking Him to demonstrate His authority in our lives.  When we ask God to bless others, we want them to recognize His movement in their lives.  We bless meals or objects, asking God to consecrate them as instruments in the ultimate accomplishment of His will.  Asking God to bless a dream or an undertaking of ours allows Him to interfere in accordance, or even contrary, to our expectations.  It is also the capacity to see that God may be blessing us in what He withholds from us.

In the Sermon on the Mount in the Fifth chapter of Matthew’s gospel, Jesus uses the term blessed in a different way.  It is the Greek word makarios.  When we are poor in spirit, when we mourn and become meek, when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, when we show mercy, strive for purity of heart and peace, and when we endure persecution, we are blessed.  This is the consequence of partaking in the actual character of God; it is produced by the operation of God’s Spirit in our lives.  Happiness depends upon circumstances.  Blessedness is a sufficiency from within which is the result of a complete dependence upon God. 

Those in whom the life of God dwells have the capacity to experience the highest, greatest, and most intense and intimate kind of well-being.  It results from an awareness, appropriation, and acclimation to God’s total sufficiency, and our own total and appalling need.  It grows into a sacred delight that will satisfy and surprise.  It is a stubborn joy that refuses to bend in the wind of hard times, holds its ground against pain, and has roots extended into the rich soil of the eternal.  It is that contagious serenity that can endure – even enjoy – the valley.  No human condition can exclude this blessedness.  It is not produced or affected by outward circumstances.