When most Christians hear the word blessed they think that it means set-apart or sanctified. In this interview with Susie Larson on her Live the Promise show, Randy Alcorn explains how the word blessed has a lot more to do with happiness than most Christians realize.
“The word ‘blessed’ has lost its sense as a happiness word.”
Randy has talked to many Bible translators around the world and he has discovered that the English translations of the Bible are one of the few translations that use the word “blessed” when other languages use the word “happy” in regards to the beatitudes and other well-known passages. Randy says that this has led to misunderstandings about happiness in Christian circles. He sets things straight in his book Happiness.
“English is one of the relatively few languages where we don’t read in the beatitudes, ‘Happy is the poor in spirit, happy are the peacemakers, or the merciful.’ Instead we read ‘blessed’ and we miss the main point.”
Many Bible scholars have rejected this idea and insisted that “blessed” must mean more than just happiness. They don’t understand how someone could be happy amidst persecution and strife.
“That’s exactly the point of the passage. It’s paradoxical. Happy are the poor in spirit, happy are those who are persecuted and maligned for their faith because their reward is in heaven and they know it.”
As Christians, we find happiness because we know that we have a reward waiting for us in Heaven that is far greater than anything we will ever know on earth. We’re able to face persecution with humble and contrite hearts because we know we are called to endure hardship to stand up for our faith.
Do you have the courage and faith to believe Jesus when He says that if you are poor in spirit and persecuted, you have a great reward waiting for you in Heaven?