Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
Paul is in prison as he writes Ephesians. After he became a Christian he had been ridiculed, beaten by mobs, lied about, arrested and sentenced to prison. Still, while he goes through this mess of life he is praises God because he is convinced that he, as every Christ follower, is blessed by God. His guards did not see this, and would have scoffed at that idea. It seemed hopelessly unrealistic: Just as it sometimes does for you and me. But Paul knew better, and we know better about Paul’s blessing, because we have the advantage of two thousand years’ hindsight. Today there are hundreds of millions in the world who thank God for the apostle Paul’s witness and prevailing faith, and they understand what blessing really means in a persons life.
Blessings from God are real and concrete but since God’s plans for us are far greater than what we can imagine, and since they are to be realized in spite of the fact that we live in this fallen world we are tempted to doubt that the blessings are for real. But God was with Joseph in prison (Genesis), Daniel under his death sentence and Paul in prison. He did what he had promised them plus much, much more! Joseph in prison had no idea that God turned his problems into a blessing that saved the very brothers who sold him as a slave. Daniel did not know that the king would be converted because he risked his life by not praying to that very king, and Paul had no way of knowing about the great revival going on in the world today, because of his and the other apostles’ faithfulness.
But this kind of blessing is that great and real because it is God who blesses, and he has the will, as well as the necessary power, knowledge and plan to bless those who trust in him.
The blessing is in the heavenly realm, which means that it comes from the place where the most strategic decisions are being made – the Op-center of the universe.
It is a spiritual blessing, which in the Biblical world means that it carries the necessary dynamic for it to really happen.
The best illustration of this is how God blessed Abraham: Because he trusted in God he, the old man who had no children would be the father of a nation, would get a land and in him all nations in the world would bless themselves, i.e. thank God for Abraham and his faith.
It took time, but he became a father of a nation, he did get a land (and there is still a lot of arguing about it) and today there are more people than ever, all over the world thanking God for Abraham’s faith.
So it is worth spending some time to thank God for deciding to bless you. If you do not feel blessed today, remember Joseph, Daniel and Paul. Since you are a Christ- follower, you are blessed and both humans and angels will be in awe when they will understand what God has been up to in your life!