We've all seen the memes: A tropical beach. A serene mountain view. A glowing sunset—each one emblazoned with #blessed. But bestselling author Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church in Washington, D.C., says we don't have it quite right.
"Blessing is not good luck," the author of Circle Maker and his 2019 book, Double Blessing, told Dr. Steve Greene on an episode of the Greenelines podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. "It's not zero gravity, no problems. I think, at the end of the day, blessing is God with us, God for us, God in us."
"I think it's the things you can't put a price tag on, but let's not reduce it to a material thing," Batterson said. "I think it's joy unspeakable. It's peace that passes understanding. And so yes, there is a material dimension to it. But I think it's so much bigger, and honestly, it's so much better than what people really make it out to be."
When we talk about blessing, Batterson said, "We have to be really, really careful, because I don't think we know enough to call something even a curse or a blessing up front. I know some people who would say, 'Hey, this was a blessing.' But you know what? It backfired because you didn't steward it the right way. And so I would even say that your greatest asset can be your greatest liability if you don't use it for God's glory. That's the rich young ruler. [His blessing] was his wealth that he could have leveraged for kingdom purposes, but it ended up keeping him trapped. It's what kept him from following Jesus.
"And so and then I would flip it and say there are some things that sure seem like a curse, but they are the catalyst for growth," Batterson explained. "They're the catalysts for incredible things happening. This is Joseph, with 'You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.'"
These blessings that look like curses "aren't the ones we want," Batterson said. "They're the ones we would rather defer. But I think sometimes those blessings in disguise end up being the things that we look back on and are most grateful for."
For more from Pastor Mark Batterson on The Double Blessings and how you can get it by giving it, listen to the entire podcast here.
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