Things Are True
by Pastor Dan Colburn
Little Angie was a very precocious five years old and kneeling with her father at the foot of her bed, was involved in the nightly ritual of bedtime prayer. “God bless mommy, and God bless daddy, and Aunt Evon, and Harvey”; Harvey was aunt Evon’s dog. “And Uncle David, and bless my goldfish, and”—she continued. Her mother and father had been taking turns praying with her, and as the prayers became longer and more involved, dad’s knees were really starting to hurt.
She continued by asking God to bless all her classmates (by name) and all the V W bugs in the world as they were her favorite car. After a half hour or so, dad began to encourage her to conclude. She continued. “God bless my pet turtle, and bless my dad’s boss, and”–. When dad could bear no more, he asked something really profound. “Angie, what is a blessing?”. “I don’t know” she replied. This angered dad, and after the feeling returned to his legs, he did what all husbands do, and went and confronted his wife. “Do you know I’ve been on my knees for a half hour with your daughter asking God to bless everything in the universe, and she doesn’t even know what a blessing is!” “What is a blessing?” asked his wife, and when he realized he couldn’t answer, he did what most of us men do, he got angry.
So what is a blessing? Do you know? Angie thought from context, that she was asking God not to let anything bad happen to the object of her prayers. Then why did Aunt Evon get sick? Why did God allow Harvey the dog to get hit by a car?
Are blessings conditional? Is God somehow bound to answer the little Angies of the world? Is God obligated to honor Angies’ prayer on behalf of Uncle David even though he is running amuck? Could blessings be classified as only good things like prosperity and happiness? Then why did Uncle David wreck his car and as a result of his injuries, loose his job? Our answer is found in the sermon on the mount where we get the best Biblical definition of blessings.
Blessing in the dictionary is to invoke divine favor, or to bestow happiness, and although the “end” will surely bring happiness, the “means” is likely not at all what you think. In the Bible, to be blessed is to be happy, but lets look at our text and see who is happy. Do you want to be happy? Let’s see. Matthew 5. Beginning in vs 3. The blessed people are these: The poor in spirit. They that mourn. The meek (not an admirable trait in our society). They which do hunger and thirst for righteousness. They that are persecuted . “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you”.
Any takers? Do you still want to be blessed? You may ask “how can you associate happiness with these traits?”. Well, in the eyes of God, any of these things you endure as a result of a relationship or association with Jesus, will result in great joy–vs 12; “rejoice and be exceedingly glad: for great is your reward in heaven”. You see, in God’s eyes, salvation is the ultimate good to come from any situation or circumstance here on earth. When little Angie prayed for Uncle David, she thought she was asking for good things to happen to him here and now. But God in His infinite wisdom knew that in order for David to be ultimately blessed/happy he would have to have a saving relationship with Christ. So Angies prayer really, was for God to bring whatever pressure to bear in David’s life that He deemed necessary to cause David to realize his need, and therefore cry out to God to save him. And that’s just what he did while in traction at a hospital, after losing everything, especially his pride. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”-Philippians 3: 8.
All this presumes a relationship with God through His son Jesus. 1st Corr. 1: 18 says “the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to those of us who are being saved, it is the power of God unto salvation”. Make any sense?