Blessings

People today often talk about being blessed. usually in the context of “God has really blessed me”   I started thinking about this and wondered “Why does God bless me?” “What have I done to deserve His blessing?” “If I am blessed, what should my response be  to those blessings?” It sometimes troubles me that I feel blessed in so many ways, while others around the globe are struggling to obtain commodities such as food, clean water, health care, education, a loving family, and other blessings. I sometimes feel like Kris Kristofferson’s song “Why Me, Lord” should be my theme song. The song begins: “Why me Lord, what have I ever done to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known”

Let’s first look at what we mean by a blessing. One definition of blessing is the invoking of God’s favor upon a person. But a blessing is far more complex than that simple statement. Why does God bestow a blessing upon a particular person? Everything from God is good. He can bless anyone, bestow good on anyone. Matthew 7:9-11 reads “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” As children of God, he wants to bestow good upon us.

Why are others not so blessed? God blesses people because He chooses to bless them. It is not about an individual’s ability to merit God’s favor but about His non manipulative mercy to undeserving people. At the heart of it, we are all evil, underserving of God’s grace. Some accept that grace and learn to be more like Him. Becoming more like Jesus, or God, results in receiving blessings. I think of this similar to a student in class. A student can sit in class, listen to lectures, maybe study the textbook. But another student really gets into the subject, going beyond the bare minimum to pass the class. This second student is like the one who becomes more like Jesus. As we know Him more, we become more like him and blessings happen.  

What is the evidence of a blessing? Make no mistake about it, blessings are real. They can be tangible or intangible. Obviously, the tangible blessings are the easiest to pinpoint. For example, I have always had trouble selling a house.  The first two times I sold one, it seemed to take forever. So when I most recently put my house up for sale, I did so with trepidation. I, and others, bathed it in prayer. I took action to make the house as attractive as possible, following recommendations of my Realtor. Not only did the house sell in less than three days, I was offered a considerable amount above my asking price. I would emphasize that this approach took action on my part, It was not a passive process.

In other cases, a blessing is intangible. There may be no specific point where we know God has blessed us, but in looking back, we see when God blessed us. It may be a feeling, an evidence that a blessing has occurred, or some other indicator. I would add a caution here about feelings. We can easily fool ourselves into feeling that we have received an answer or blessing. Time will tell, God does not play games with us and wants the best for us. 

If I am blessed, what do I do with that blessing? Blessings are not something for us to accumulate, or hoard. As we are blessed, we are called to share our blessings, to bless others. An unshared blessing is like the Dead Sea, water flows in, but nothing flows out. As a result nothing lives in the Dead Sea, other than some microorganisms. Also, the Dead Sea has the lowest elevation on earth which can serve as a reminder to someone who does not share blessings received. It can be a low point for us. A  blessing in our lives should be more like the Sea of Galilee, which is a vibrant, living body of water. It nourishes the surrounding area and helps provide food and other benefits.

If you don’t feel blessed, have you asked God in faith? Examine your motives, confess your sin. Maybe it is not God’s time for granting the blessing. In Daniel 10, the angel was prevented from helping Daniel for 21 days while fighting off a demon. Perhaps your request is misdirected, and God knows that’s not best for you.  In order to reap God’s blessings we must remain close to Him, pray, and listen to Him.

We are to be a blessing to others, in other words, pass it on. We can encourage, help, give, listen, teach, and forgive. No matter what resources each of us has available to share, there is always something we can do to be a blessing. Be assured, God wants to bless us. In the words of Laura Story, “And all the while, You hear each spoken need.  Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things.”

Published by John Stancil

John Stancil is a retired college professor and CPA living in Lakeland FL. John has always been active in his church, fulfilling a variety of roles. He has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations, usually faith-based. He has remarried after being a widower for a number of years. He and Heather are blessed with numerous children, grandchildren, and a great granddaughter. Writing has always been a passion of his and he was widely published in professional accounting journals. He’s frequently written other types of articles primarily about his faith. John is a big sports fan, especially hockey, baseball, and soccer. He enjoys a wide variety of concerts and music as well as live theater. He is an avid reader. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration degree from the University of Memphis, an MBA from the University of Georgia, and a BS in Accounting from Mars Hill University. John also loves to travel, either exploring Florida, visiting parts of the USA, or taking a cruise. John grew up in Asheville, NC and has lived in Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, and now Florida. Several years ago he traveled to Ghana on a mission trip to distribute 4,000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

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