Today we are going to talk about blessing!
I don’t ever recall meeting anyone who doesn’t like blessings. Whether you are a believer or not, blessings are something that we all enjoy.
It’s important to enjoy blessings, to be thankful for them, and praise God for them, but we also look a bit deeper into what it is to truly be blessed.
I believe that during these times, God is calling us to reflect and to go deeper with Him and God is allowing us to do that through simple ways such as prayer, connection, and being in His Word more. He is also reminding us of how truly blessed we are.
So, to start. What is blessing?
In the dictionary, blessing can be defined as:
-praise; devotion; worship, especially grace said before a meal.
- God's favour and protection.
BLESSING IN THE BIBLE
God's intention and desire to bless humanity is a central focus of His covenant relationships. First, a blessing was a public declaration of a favored status with God. Second, the blessing brought power for prosperity and success. In all cases, the blessing served as a guide and motivation to maintain that life within the blessing that was given.
The history of Israel begins with the promise of blessing. The curse, which had dominated the early chapters of the biblical story (Genesis 3:14 Genesis 3:17; 4:11; 5:29; 9:25), was countered by God's promise to Abraham that "all peoples on earth will be blessed through you" which is found in Genesis 12:3.
“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
The institutions of society — the family, government, and religion were the means by which ceremonial blessings were received.
Within the family, the father blessed his wife and children (Genesis 27:27-29).
And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said: “Surely, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed. 28 Therefore may God give you of the dew of heaven, of the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. 29 Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be master over your brethren, and let your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone who curses you, and blessed be those who bless you!”
In the government context, the ruler blessed the people (2 Samuel 6:18)
After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty.
Those who possessed a priestly role had the privilege of blessing (Genesis 14:19)
and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
The parallels between the Old and New Testament usages of blessing are interesting. In the Old Testament, to be blessed is to be granted special favor by God with resulting joy and prosperity. In the New Testament, the emphasis is more on spiritual rather than on material blessings.
There are many key components or things to remember and consider when it comes to blessing for us today. Let’s look at 4 today.
The first thing we must acknowledge is that blessing comes from God and begins with God.
There is a beautiful song called, “10,000 Reasons.” The lyrics of the chorus are:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul
Worship His Holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul
I'll worship Your Holy name.
Blessing always brings glory to God. He is worthy of all glory and deserves all glory because He is a good God. He first loved us and He first blessed us so it’s all about Him.
I remember when we had been praying and trusting God for the blessing of a child. So when we found out that we were now expecting a little one, we were so excited. We had so many ideas and plans in mind already and it was just such an exciting time in our lives.
A few weeks later, we had some unexpected news that the pregnancy was not viable and that the baby went to be with Jesus. It quickly went from a very exciting time to one of the most challenging times in our lives. It was hard, but God was faithful and we knew we were still blessed regardless of our situation.
With time, I realized that we were so focused on the blessing and not as much on the One who was the source of the blessing. Blessing begins with God and we need to always have that as our perspective.
God is so good and faithful and of course we now have our beautiful child who keeps us quite busy and whom we adore.
2. Blessing is generational
“Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in His commands. Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.” Psalms 112:1-2
When we fear God and take delight in His Word, generations will be blessed.
Some of us may be first or second generation Christians in our family and it truly is such an honor to have.
I didn’t grow up in a Christian home so for me some of the norms growing up were: alcohol and substance abuse, violence, anger, and rage as some examples.
We believed in God and knew about God but there was no personal relationship with God and no transformation in our lives. We may have been blessed with a home to live in, plenty of food to eat, and all the latest clothing and shoes but we were not experiencing the most important blessings. The ones we cannot see.
We can’t do anything about our ancestors, but we know that as children of God other generations to come will also be blessed after us. The things which seem like set backs whether from our past or present can actually be setups for the greater God has in store for us. When we have this perspective, it makes all the difference.
Are there any setbacks in your life right now? I know you don’t see the blessing yet, but you ARE blessed and God has better in store for you. Keep trusting.
So no matter what upbringing we’ve had, if we choose to follow the Lord, we will be blessed that blessing will be available to our children, grandchildren, and future generations. What an amazing thing to be a part of!
3. Blessing is meant to be shared
“I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.” Genesis 12:2
We have all heard the verse that says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” and that is so true. We are blessed to be a blessing- it is not meant to be for us only, but to be a blessing to others. There are so many ways we can be a blessing to others.
We are blessed, and then we give the blessing away.
And in giving it away, we are blessed all over again.
So God blesses us, and we give it away.
He blesses you again, and you give it away.
He blesses you yet again, and you give it away. When God blesses, there is an outpouring that happens. This outpouring is meant to be spilled over to bless others. We need to share the blessing of Jesus and His salvation to others. This was never meant for us to hoard or keep to ourselves, but to share with others.
4. Blessing is undeserved
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24
We do not deserve God’s blessing, but by His grace He blesses us anyways. All the blessings that any of us receive from God are ultimately and only the result of the cross of Christ. God loves us and blesses us not because of who we are or what we can do, but because of who He is and how great His love is for us. It is not about us and all about Him.
Here is a short story that I would like to share with you that I found online:
-A Blessing in Disguise- [Short Inspirational Story]
A young man was getting ready to graduate college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.
As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box.
Curious, but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible. Angrily, he raised his voice at his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible behind.
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family, but realized his father was very old, and thought perhaps he should go to him. He had not seen him since that graduation day.
Before he could make arrangements, he received word that his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care things.
When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he started to read, a key dropped from an envelope that was taped behind the Bible. It had a tag with a car dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired.
On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words...PAID IN FULL.
See, sometimes the blessing God has for us in right there but we can’t see it because we are so focused on what we are expecting as a blessing.
How many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected?
Sometimes when we have certain expectations and those aren’t met it can cause us to feel disappointment. So, our attitude is key when it comes to receiving blessing.
Many times God blesses us in ways we didn't think of and sometimes we don’t see the actual blessing because we are so focused on what we thought was the blessing.
We need to remember that God’s blessings are sometimes not packaged as we expected but those are the blessings that will bring us closer to God and that is what’s most important and significant. It’s those blessings that will take us deeper with God. The waiting a bit longer will bring us to where God wants to take us. Even and especially in the waiting, there is blessing.
Let’s begin to go a bit deeper together.
BLESSING A BIT DEEPER
We often hear statements such as, “I received the promotion that I’ve been waiting for…I feel so blessed!” or “We just bought the home of our dreams. We are incredibly blessed!”
But what happens when we don’t feel so “blessed” in your current circumstances? For example: Someone who has been out of work and is trusting God for a job. They get an interview with a great organization but are not offered the job after praying and trusting God.
Let’s think about this for a moment because we have all been through challenging and trying seasons.
Are we no longer blessed when things are challenging or trying?
The answer is no. God has a purpose and time for everything to be done according to His plan and what I believe God would like us to focus on here is that we often associate being blessed with positive circumstances, wealth, comfort, and the absence of problems or challenges. This tells me that we need to reflect and re evaluate what it truly means to be blessed.
So, what does it mean to be truly blessed?
Let’s look at some very powerful and profound words that Jesus shared.
The beatitudes come from the opening verses of the famous Sermon on the Mount delivered by Jesus and recorded in Matthew 5:3-12.
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and He began to teach them. He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. 5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
From a human perspective, most of these conditions would not indicate a blessed life. But from a heavenly perspective we know that we are blessed when we endure such things.
We know that we will inherit the kingdom of heaven, and that we will be with God forever and He will rule and reign in His Kingdom.
We know that we will be comforted, there will be no more pain, no more suffering, tears, heart ache, loss, discouragement, fear, we will be comforted by the good shepherd Himself.
We will be satisfied and forever fulfilled. We pursue and keep striving on earth to find satisfaction, but Jesus says that we will be satisfied. He will truly satisfy us for all eternity.
Therefore, we are truly blessed because we belong to Christ Jesus and He is our eternal reward.
Though the world says we find happiness when we have the newest, biggest, shiniest, most advanced fill-in-the-blank thing on the market, Jesus says we find it when we demonstrate the true characteristics of Christian faith.
There is a key element to blessing that we must not forget- its the spiritual element, the things which are eternal and last forever.
“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
We may not feel very happy some days, but that emotional feeling doesn’t take away the reality that we are still blessed.
We have the peace of God that passes all understanding, we have victory through Jesus Christ, we have been forgiven and set free, we are eternally secure, we are loved unconditionally, we have the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth, and so much more.
THE GREATEST BLESSING
Our greatest blessing is having a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Great families, financial wealth, great jobs and homes, and good health are all wonderful gifts we can thank God for, but they are not his greatest blessings because they can make us delight, not in God, but in His gifts.
I do not put my hope in the substance of the blessing but my hope is in the giver of the blessing. My hope is in Christ, I am blessed because I have Him in my life.
God’s greatest blessing always rests in God Himself and when we focus on Him as our source for everything, we are truly blessed.
et us not keep our greatest blessing to ourselves. There are billions of people in the world who haven’t heard about Jesus and the hope He brings.
You can also share this hope with others by supporting OMS Canada. Blessings to you and your family.
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make His face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn His face toward you
and give you peace.”