The Blessed Man

7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. 8 He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7,8)

What does it mean when we say that a person is blessed? When people say they are blessed, they usually refer to something good or positive that has happened or is happening in their lives.

Some Bible translators have replaced ‘Blessed’ with ‘Happy’. For example – ‘How happy (blessed) is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers!  (Christian Standard Bible).

Such happy moments in life can lead one into becoming self-sufficient and self-centred, with an attitude of ‘I do not need God!’. This reminds us of the parable of the rich fool who said, And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”

While we may be blessed with many good things in life, the psalmist reminds us that to be blessed and stay happy, one has to remember to stay focused and be forever dependent  on God. In fact, the psalmist emphasises on trusting in God alone – “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.” Hence, as we meet with all the challenges in life, God should be our only confidence, not our last resort.

Being blessed and happy does not mean one is not affected by negative issues in life. This does not mean that a Christian cannot be sad. Yes, the Bible talks about ‘counting it all joy’ when we meet with various trials. But this is not to say that we become robots and do not feel pain and hurt. It simply means that amidst challenges in life, we rest on the assurance that God will never leave nor forsake us as His ways are always higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.

This means that even if we are down in the valley of despondency when the challenges in life take a toll, we do not crumble in defeat. The psalmist says as such one ‘does not fear when heat comes’ and ‘is not anxious in the year of drought’.

The person who is truly blessed will never be negatively affected by challenging  circumstances no matter what! He or she will always have a positive outlook in life. Whether one is happy or blessed, it is good to spend time or effort looking out for the welfare of others. For such people, their ‘leaves remain green and they do not cease to bear fruit.’

Elder Richard Lai