“God doesn’t bless us just to make us happy; He blesses us to make us a blessing.” Warren W. Wiersbe
It is a common saying that God blesses us so that we can bless others. Recently, I was reflecting on what this means and trying to recollect if I had put this into practice when I discovered a new perspective. It seems possible that at times it was God’s main intent to bless my loves ones and I was the mere channel or instrument for the blessing. Loving and helping others is a command from God (Matt 22:39) and it is only when we take stock of events after the fact that we see God’s design in the complex web of human interactions.
So what does the bible teach about blessing?
Blessing Comes From Obedience (Deut 28:1-14)
Blessings are promised to those who faithfully obey the voice of the Lord. By faith we believe that all good things come from the Lord and the exercising of this faith is in the act of daily obedience and surrender to His Word and His will.
Abraham listened to and obeyed the instructions of God to sacrifice his only son Isaac (Gen 22:15-18) and was given a special blessing that his offspring would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore (Heb 11:8-12).
There is More to Blessings than Riches (Matt 5:1-11)
When we proclaim a blessing to someone, we usually intend that something good will happen to him/her or that he/she will gain something valuable (be it a material possession or a valuable experience). If we read the beatitudes it could mean that we wish for them to be poor, mournful, meek, hungering or thirsting, merciful, pure in heart, peacemakers and persecuted. In the beatitudes, the word “blessed” can be translated to mean happy. True blessings do not relate to our station in life, our material possessions or what happens to us but to our relationship as children of God and citizens in the Kingdom of God and the joy that this brings. Such are the blessings that help us weather the storms of life together with our Father God.
Use Our Blessings to Bless Others (Prov 11:25-26)
The blessings we receive are not meant to be hoarded for our own advantage but shared with those around us. Sharing the blessing with others is part and parcel of the blessing that we receive as well. We should always look out for the interest of others (Phil 2:3-4) and identify ways to bless others with the blessings God has given us.
As I look back at my own life, I could identify situations where my loved ones were blessed because of the blessings I received. My grandmother accepted Christ four days before she passed away at the age of 92.
I had accepted Christ when I was 15 years old and received a hard time from my grandmother who felt that Christianity was a Western religion. It was my blessing to have known Christ when I was 15 and it took 25 years of sharing of the gospel and practical Christian testimony in my daily life before this translated into a blessing for my grandmother. I marvel at how God was able to use my life to bless my grandmother and as I reflect on this a thought came to my mind. It was God’s plan all along to use my life to bless my grandmother!
Are some of the blessings we received, just meant for us, or was it intended to be part of someone else’s blessings all along? How differently would we view our relationship with our loved ones if we knew that God is blessing us because of them.
By Tay Yong Thai, Elder (YCKC Bulletin 13&14 February 2016)