With the mid-term elections closing in, one of the issues that is a frequent topic of debate is the economy. Many people have felt the impact of a sluggish economy over the past several years and have watched helplessly as the values of their homes, investments and retirement funds have lost ground. We all want someone who will DO something to bring about change and politicians are happy to promise us positive change, even if we all know they can’t (or won’t) do what is fiscally necessary to put our economy back on the right track.
Christians are not immune from the economic malaise that has gripped our country. We suffer just like everyone else. But we have something that other people don’t have – an “ace in the hole” as it were. We have God! And so we pray. We pray that God will take care of us (Philippians 4:6), that He will supply our needs (Philippians 4:19), that He will bless us. After all we have the promises of scripture mentioned above, as well as others, and we know (at least we think) that God wants to bless His children.
That brings me to this question: Why does God bless us? Does He bless us just so we won’t suffer like everyone else? Does He bless us because He likes us more than He likes other people? Does He bless us simply because He is our father and we are His children? Why do we think that God should bless us or that God owes us His blessing?
Some would argue that God blesses us because He has promised to bless us. You can make a case from the Bible that God blesses those who live in obedience to Him. So His blessing demonstrates His faithfulness. But there is another reason (there may be several more) that God blesses us. Psalm 67:1-2 gives it to us:
God be merciful to us and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. That Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.
Did you get that? God blesses His children so that His way may be known on the earth and His salvation among all nations. In other words, there is a purpose for God’s blessing and it is so people will see His grace and His goodness and turn to Him. As they see God’s gracious care for you they will recognize that our God is a God of love; that He is a God who cares for His people; that He is a God who is powerful enough to help them in their time of need (and their most important need is spiritual). Here’s the point: When God blesses you it is not so much about you as it is about God. That fundamentally changes the way we look at this issue of God’s blessing. Instead of praying that God will bless you for you, pray that God will bless you so that people will be saved and He will be glorified. Instead of praying for God’s blessing so that you won’t suffer in this life, pray that God will bless you so that people won’t suffer eternally. When you pray that way it is not only good to pray for God’s blessing, it is the right thing to do.
Just make sure that when you pray for God’s blessing it’s about God instead of about you.
Stay in the Word