Blessed (Makarios)

I’ve been wanting to tell everyone about the adhering peace and joy in abiding in the Lord even amid diverse trials. But I couldn’t quite grasp the exact explanation and I wouldn’t want to be found lacking, especially by those who are not yet in Christ and are full of skepticism (and there are those who profess that they believe and serve the Lord but are doubtful of His workings; these are the ones who easily grow weary and complain when circumstances become hard). Then I read in my new devotional, A Word for the Day: Key Words from the New Testament, the deeper meaning of “blessed” in Greek from which it was translated.


In the introduction of the book, the author discussed extensively the importance of learning the Greek meaning of the key words used in the New Testament of the Bible. He explained that often, the English language falls short in accurately translating many Greek words, that is why it is good to go back to the original Greek meaning to gain a deeper understanding and make our faith walk more meaningful. (With that, I was fully convinced and really wanted to learn them, too, and not to seem scholarly :) ). One of those key words is blessed or makarios in Greek.

First, makarios speaks of “contentedness”. The idea is an inward contentedness that is not affected by circumstances. This is indeed the kind of happiness and contentedness that God desires for His children – a state of joy and wellbeing that does not depend upon physical, temporary circumstances.

Second, makarios goes even deeper, as Greek scholar Spiros Zodhiates points out, to refer to “possessing the favor of God, the state of being marked by fullness from God.” As Romans 4:7-8 declares, “Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”

Third, deeper still, one who is blessed is “one who becomes partaker of God’s nature through faith in Christ (see 2 Pet. 1:4). Zodhiates again offers, “To be makarios, blessed, is equivalent to having God’s kingdom within one’s heart. Makarios is the one who is in the world yet independent of the world. His satisfaction comes from God and not from favourable circumstances.”

(Quoted from A Word for the Day by J. D. Watson, p. 12).

This is exactly the thing I was looking for to be able to explain the steadfast peace and joy I have been experiencing throughout my many trials. I was trying to find possible, tangible “reasons” for this, why it is so, so that I could be able to share it with others, too. Now I have my answer: It is inherent in our blessedness. When we are blessed by God, we are also endowed with contentedness, the kind that is not affected by our circumstances. As the author of the book beautifully states, “a state of joy and wellbeing that does not depend upon physical, temporary circumstances”, which is exactly what God desires for His children.

This is what has been holding me all throughout my various difficult trials: a state of joy and peace which only God can give. There will always be seasons and reasons when we feel unhappy and discouraged, but our blessedness in the Lord is not affected by any of our circumstances. We are still that, blessed, makarios, although sometimes it doesn’t seem that way to our limited vision and finite understanding. In this state of blessedness:

  • There is strength in times of weakness, encouragement in times of doubt.

God is the lifter of our heads. (Ps. 3:3)

His strength is made perfect in our weakness. (See 2 Cor. 12:9).

God is faithful, He will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that we may be able to bear it (1 Cor. 10:13).

  • There is revival in times of weariness.

Times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord (see Acts 3:19).

But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14).

The Lord was talking about the Holy Spirit which He will give to all who receive Him.

  • There is inspiration in times of dissatisfaction and drought.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. (James 1:17)

He gave gifts to men (see Eph. 4:8).

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Rom. 5:5)

The Holy Spirit is an undying flame and well of inspiration to us.

  • There is peace that passes understanding and unbroken joy.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:7)

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)

All these things point us to the sufficiency of God’s grace. It’s what sustains the blessedness. Moreover, it is the seed planted in us, nurtured by the Holy Spirit and the Word, until it bears the fruit of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). In this fruitfulness (blessedness), we become partaker of God’s nature, as the Greek Scholar Zodhiates said above. With the Holy Spirit residing in us, empowering us, it’s really that the kingdom of God has come upon us (Mat. 12:28). What a blessing!

We received this blessedness from the moment we received the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior. Imagine, complete forgiveness in place of our sins, eternal life in place of death! Nothing can ever equal this blessing. It won’t even suffice to put an adjective before it. It is a blessing pure and true, period.

And yet, trials and tribulations sometimes blind us to this truth. We forget this state of blessedness as we are subjected to God’s refining and pruning work by means of difficult and painful tests, then behold others having the time of their lives. We remember again the complaints of Asaph in Psalm 73. But when the Lord made him see the end of those who live in pleasure now, he realized that true blessedness in God is in being continually in His presence.

There’s a story I heard in church about the fattened pig. The pig is fed day after day by its master. It didn’t do anything but eat and rest and live easy, unlike the horse or the ox in the farm. Then one day, it was taken away to be slaughtered.

But we do not rejoice in the destruction of the wicked just as God doesn’t.

“Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?” (Eze. 18:23)

In love, we pray for the salvation of the lost. We remember those who prowl the streets at night – men, women and children – committing all kinds of sin. And we pray for them. We give not only of our resources but of our time and love in prayer. The Lord Jesus said,

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

There again is our blessedness played out in love. For true blessedness doesn’t envy, but blesses others, too.

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Journey with Jesus,


  1. Joanne Viola says:

    A beautiful post! I use the Key Word Study Bible, which includes the Hebrew & Greek from Spiros Zodhiates & find it adds such a depth of meaning to Scripture. Grateful to read all that you also gleaned. Blessings!

    • RinaPeru says:

      Exactly, Joanne – it adds depth of meaning and our understanding of Scripture! It makes it richer as it guides us to apply it to our daily lives.

  2. Oh dear sister, this is such a beautiful and just so soothing to me. I am going through an awakening, you can call it, this weekend as I try to find what you just described. I am really glad that there are languages like Greek that really get to the root of a word meaning that sometimes escapes us in English. Makarios is one of them. I am writing this down to research it more. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • RinaPeru says:

      Rejoicing with you, Maria, for the joy words (the Word of God) bring to our lives! They form God’s love letter to us and it is only right that we learn them deeper.

  3. Hazel Moon says:

    I was thinking of the old Hymn “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine,” Your word contentment reminded me of our assurance and confidence we have in Jesus our savior. It is good to learn the Greek meaning of words found in the New Testament. Paul said, he was content no matter what his circumstances were. He had learned contentment through obedience. Thank you for sharing your lovely post with us here at Tell me a Story.

  4. Carrie says:

    Wonderful explanation! And I’m looking for this devotional – I’ve been wanting to dig deeper into scripture and begin to understand the meanings in the original language. Thank you for sharing!

    • RinaPeru says:

      You’re welcome, Carrie. I like this one particular Greek key word devotional by J.D. Watson because of its straightforwardness.

  5. I love to look up original word meanings, as well. Your steadfastness of standing on God’s Word through trial is evident in your writing. Happy to be hear from Barbie’s!

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