“But one who has looked intently at the perfect law, the law of freedom, and has continued in it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an active doer, this person will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).

A blessed existence, as described by both James, and Jesus (Mt. 5:3-11), unequivocally negates the name-it-and-claim-it, health, wealth, and prosperity gospel that characterizes a religion driven by consumeristic desires. Within the Beatitudes, and today’s text, the idea of blessedness isn’t a cherry-on-top future tense, but a state of being realized in the present tense, regardless of circumstance. The blessed (makarios) life is one fulfilled, and enriched with purpose, because it remains steadfastly faithful through even the most adverse trials, knowing that the redemptive purposes of God are being accomplished within us, bearing witness to the world of a greater redemption that is to come.

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