What is a Blessing?

When we pray, "Bless me Lord," (as we often do), what are we really seeking? Are we asking for His approval? Is it a plea for a good emotional feeling, or a request for His miraculous intervention in behalf of our physical, material or social needs?

God's blessing can touch many areas of life. The dictionary describes blessing as "a special favor granted by God." In reality, it is "the touch of God." His presence and power graciously steps in to meet our need. The divine favor may come as an anointing, an enduement of power, a gift of knowledge or an ability far above our own capability. When His blessing is upon us, needs are generously filled, potentials are enhanced, success and happiness are enjoyed. God's blessings should prompt us to admit, "It was God, -- I couldn't have done it without Him!"

Among many blessings received are life, a positive awareness of God's presence, contentment in difficult times, wisdom, health, security, success, peace, joy -- and much more. On the other hand, His blessing may not always be something He gives us, but rather, something He does not allow. A child, enticed by the flickering flame of a candle, is spared a painful burn when the mother pulls the child away and cries out, "No, don't touch!"

The "Blesseds" of Matthew 5:3-12 describe some benefits Jesus promised those who meet the requirements. They are: -- membership in the Kingdom of Heaven (vs.3); comfort in times of stress (vs.4); inheriting the earth (vs.5); spiritual fulfillment (vs.6); receiving mercy (vs.7); an audience with the Almighty (vs.8); declared a child of God (vs.9); a special reward in heaven (vss.10-12). And there is more.

Blessings are the warm smile of God bestowed on the godly (1Tim.4:8; 6:6); on those who abide in His Word Ja.1:25); on the obedient (Isa.1:19); those who fear Him (Ps. 112:1-3); please Him (Mt. 6:33); worship Him (Ps.24:3-6); The Psalmist asks: "Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies, They will receive the Lord's blessing and have right standing with God their Savior. They alone may enter God's presence" (Ps.24:3-6 NLT). He blesses those who stay close to Him.

The Amplified New Testament translates the "blesseds" of Matthew 5 as "happy," "enviably fortunate," "spiritually prosperous." Recipients of God's blessings have reason indeed to be happy. His blessings serve as living proof to the world that He is gracious, kind, and it pays to serve Him.

True blessings flow from God -- when we bless Him. "Your heavenly Father already knows your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern" (Mt.6:32,33, NLT). The steps to God's blessing are: (1) love Him, (2) obey Him, (3) faithfully serve Him, (4) be thankful to Him. By doing these things, we bless Him. We give Him joy. "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our Salvation" (Ps.68:19). "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Ps.103:2).

God's blessings are bountiful. He promised: "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse...If you do...I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Let Me prove it to you!" (Mal. 3:10 NLT). God is extremely generous to His obedient and grateful children. "The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it" (Prov.10:22 NLT).

The greatest blessing one can receive is Salvation. Far more than anything physical, material or social, (for these are only temporal), receiving everlasting life is the greatest. "The Lord has pronounced His blessing, even life forevermore" (Ps.133:3 NLT). Eternal life is from God, and becomes ours when we come to Him -- His way. The blessing of salvation includes: 1. the cancellation of our guilt and punishment (Rom. 8:1); 2. the beginning of a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ (1 Jn.1:3); 3. establishing our eternal destiny with Him (Jn.14:3); 4. the improvement of the quality of our life here on earth (1Tim.6:6); 5. contentment and happiness (Phil.4:11; Psa. 16:11).

What are God's blessings? They are the pouring out of His loving care upon us to enrich our lives. The Lord is always ready to generously involve Himself in our affairs (Eph. 3:20). He wants to bless us, to help us. "My God shall supply all your need according His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19). This becomes reality when we daily bless Him with thanks, adoration and faithful service. Incidentally, what have we done for Him lately? How have we blessed Him? Blessings in abundance await us. But have we thanked Him for what we have already received?