Monday, August 27, 2012

Blessings: Are You Always Blessed?

“So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.”

-Galatians 3:9

                There are many Christians who believe that we are not always blessed. They think of material things, hardships, promotions, and other things that aren’t important. You never see a hearse with a U-Haul truck being towed behind to bring all of the earthly possessions to the grave. They are useless and will not last forever like the gifts that God promises us in the Bible. The ancient Egyptians believed that placing perishable items in the pyramid tombs would sustain the dead in the after-life. But what they failed to realize was that these things would not carry over and God is the ultimate provider beyond our needs. What does it mean, from a biblical perspective, to be blessed?

                A blessing is a statement of good will and happiness that is said about another, as well as the condition that fulfills those good words. God's original design in creation was for His creatures, including mankind, to experience prosperity, peace, and fulfillment (Genesis 1:28), but that design was ruined when sin entered the world through one man, Adam. Statements of blessing are a wish for God to restore His favor on others or a declaration of His inherent goodness. The ultimate blessing that God has given is the new life and forgiveness that comes through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. The material blessings we enjoy from day to day are temporary, but the spiritual blessings available to us in Christ encompass time and eternity, as well as material and immaterial things.

                We are ALWAYS blessed according to scripture if we follow God’s commands and laws and have faith. We are only cursed if we turn from Him and do not repent. We have the promise of new life and a place in Heaven. That is a blessing in itself. What else is blessing? He sends His angels to protect us, provides for us in tough financial times, guides our walk so that we may walk the path that leads to Him, gives us the desires of our hearts if He sees it fit, and pours down His grace upon us.

               Blessings can come in many forms. They aren't always material benefits, but can be things like knowledge and wisdom, as stated in Ecclesiastes. Things can blessed too, like food. But it's not just food that can be blessed. A day can be blessed too. Genesis 2:3 says that on the seventh day of creation, "He blessed the seventh day.." Animals can be blessed. When He was creating the world, "God created great sea creatures, and every sort of fish and every kind of bird. And God looked at the m with pleasure, and blessed them all..." (Genesis 1:22)

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.
Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and
insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.”

-Luke 6:20-22

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the
way of the sinners or in the seat of mockers.”

-Psalm 1:1

“He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

-Luke 11:28

“Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways.”

-Psalm 128:1

                There is so much Scripture about blessings but not one says that we are only blessed at certain moments. Even when we are facing hardship, He says that we are blessed. His promise of new life should be enough for us and His grace will help us out of any situation. Optimism is key. Nothing in life is easy, so make the best of it and don’t dwell on the negatives. You are your own stress, your own anger, your own sadness, your own frustration. When you realize that you are eternally blessed because of God, you will learn to have a positive outlook on life-the outlook that God wants you to have. There is a purpose for your life, and God not only wants to bless you but He also wants to use you to bless others. A blessing is a way for God to work through someone. In Ephesians 3:20, it says that God can do more amazing things than anyone can hope to do on their own. This is part of what a blessing is. Though someone can pray for a blessing, that doesn't mean they will receive it. James 1:17 states, "Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God..." If someone isn't ready for the situation involving the blessing they pray for, they will not receive it. God can do the impossible (2 Kings 4:1-7).

                What is given to you is also based upon your heart and what God sees when He looks at it.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken
together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For
with what measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

-Luke 6:38

                What we understand as a blessing is only a very small understanding of what God has ready for his people. Isaiah 64:4 states, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

                Every day may not be good, but there is good in every day.

“Surely you have granted him eternal blessings and made him glad with the joy of your presence.”

-Psalm 21:6

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