A New Perspective on Blessing
There are two words in the Bible that are translated blessing. The first is berakah. It’s used when God shows His favor on people by giving them prosperity, fruitfulness, success, good health, and so on. When you obey God’s laws you are rewarded by Him and it is evident to all. However, my question for you to ponder today is this: If you are NOT prosperous, fruitful, successful, or healthy is God withholding His blessing from you? Can a Christian look at others and determine who is blessed and who isn’t? Think about this. How does a persecuted Christian in Iran or Indonesia, both Muslim countries, view God’s blessing? What about those believers in Viet Nam or North Korea, where Christianity is illegal; how do they view God’s blessing?
I want a new perspective on the Biblical definition of blessing. God’s point of view looks at all one possesses and acknowledges His provision. It’s not about us; it’s about Him. It’s also not about the blessing of owning the car or house of your choice but the ability to walk outside in the fresh air. It’s not about a successful career where you are making a lot of money but the fact that you can put some kind of food on the table for your family. It may not be a vacation to the destination of your choice but staying out of jail one more day for worshiping Jesus Christ. Thinking that way can change your perspective.
Job undoubtedly questioned God’s blessing. He experienced the prosperity, success, good health, and fruitfulness of God’s hand on His life and then in a moment of time… it was gone. The book of Job describes his progress through this difficult time of life when it looked as if God had withdrawn His blessing and it wasn’t fair in Job’s eyes. The perspective of his three friends was this: Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Therefore, when life gets difficult, you must have done something wrong. At the end of the book we listen to God, through five chapters (38-42), describe His sovereignty and rebuke the three friends for their inaccurate view.
If it looks like you’re not blessed, walk outside and enjoy the sunshine and breeze on your face: that’s a blessing. Thank Him that you have freedom and ability to even take that walk. If you’re in a good place right now, have a thankful heart. If you’re in a difficult place, rest assured, God hasn’t removed the berakah from you. He may be testing what’s in your heart and desires to make a correction of your perspective on blessing.
On Friday I will begin a series on the Sermon on the Mount. Interestingly, it begins with the second word for blessing, makarios. We’ll walk through this homily together and discover the connection between being blessed according to God’s viewpoint and victorious kingdom living. It truly connects heaven and earth.