Thornleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church (Sydney, Australia)

Home > Online Magazine > Online Magazine: Edition 20 - December 2007 / January 2008 > Pastor's Piece - Blessings in Everything

Pastor's Piece - Blessings in Everything

by Dr Barry Wright

Blessings in Everything

Being blessed has many shades of meaning, but it has the general connotation of receiving an advantage, or benefit, or being endowed with many special gifts. In the Old Testament Scriptures we read that when one person blesses another, he expresses a wish that the other would receive special favours or attention (Joshua 14: 13; 1 Sam 2: 20) (Neufeld, 1960: 148).

However, the majority of blessings referred to throughout God's sacred word have to do with those that God himself confers on men as a result of their obedience and cooperation. Deut 28: 1-14 provides a wonderful insight into this principle as He outlines the outcomes for the Israelite people if they were to follow His commands. Let's read what He has to say as He speaks through Moses to the people.

'If you fully obey the Lord your God, and carefully follow all His commands… the Lord our God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock… Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out…He will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to…You will lend to many nations, but will borrow from none…The Lord will make you the head and not the tail…'

Unfortunately, from this time on, the Israelite nation proved to be unfaithful and missed out on many of the blessings promised to them. Therefore, many centuries later, Malachi in Mal 3: 10 was to remind the people again to follow the Lord and to return what rightfully belonged to Him. The Lord asks them to return the whole tithe into His storehouse and says, 'Test me in this…and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it…Then all the nations will call you blessed…'

The Israelites over time had forgotten the wonderful blessings that had previously attended them in their normal day to day living and were now being reminded that God was still prepared to give them so much more if they remained faithful to Him.

David, in his Psalms, also gives that reminder when he says in Ps 85: 12:

'Yes, the Lord pours down his blessings on the land and it yields its bountiful crops.'

It doesn't seem the Lord would ever run out of the many blessings He has promised.

However, we need to be continually reminded that everything we have in this life is a blessing from God. As we take time to examine our lives we would find that while we are inundated with blessings, we have not recognised them in that light. There are many things that seem to be so trivial, but really need to be seen as special blessings from God (Smoke, 1978: 232).

Helen Steiner Rice makes clear that there are blessings in everything and notes this in the following poem where she says:

'Blessings come in many guises
That God alone in love devises,
And sickness which we dread so much
Can bring a very 'healing touch'-
For often on the 'wings of pain'
The peace we sought before in vain
Will come to us with 'sweet surprise'
For God is merciful and wise -
And through long hours of tribulation
God gives us time for meditation,
And no sickness can be counted loss
That teaches us to 'bear our cross'
        Helen Steiner Rice in 'Remembering with Love' Hutchinson/London.

How about your health? If it is good, that's a blessing. If not, it will give God a chance to bless you through it. Sometimes the Lord allows situations to come upon us that are mercies in disguise. He is ever watching to impart, when most needed, new and fresh blessings (Smoke, 1978: 232). They may come in the form of strength in the hour of weakness, support in the hour of danger, friends in the hour of loneliness and sympathy in the hour of sorrow.

However, it seems the more affluent a people become, the less they are inclined to give thanks. This was noted long ago by St. Augustine, the well- known Bishop of Hippo when he said that: 'God is more anxious to bestow his blessings on us than we are to receive them' (Water, 2000: 142).

Just like the words in the chorus of the little Gospel song known by many children, we all need the reminder to:

'Count your blessings, name them one by one.
Count your blessings, see what God hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.'

The Psalmist in Ps 103: 3-5 (Paraphrase-Clear Word) says that those blessings come about because:

'He has forgiven your sins and healed your diseases
He has kept you from an early grave and treated you with love and compassion.
He has given you the comforts of life so that you can remain strong and continue to serve Him.'

Author, Charles Dickens, once made the comment that we need to 'Reflect upon [our] present blessings, of which every man has many - not on our past misfortunes, of which all men have some (Water, 2000: 142).

What a world this would be if we could [only] forget our troubles as easily as we forget our blessings (Ibid: 141).

Today, we need to remain faithful and obedient to god's commands.

We also need to remember that, because of God's love and mercy, there are always blessings to be found in everything He has promised.



Neufeld, D. (ed)  (1960)   Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary  - Washington DC: Review And Herald -Publishing Association

Smoke, J.   (1978)   Every Single Day. USA: Flemming H. Revell Company

Water, M.   (2000)   The New Encyclopedia of Christian Quotations. Hampshire, UK: John Hunt Publishing Ltd.

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