May 3, 2017, 12:12 PM
“… there will be showers of blessing.” (Ezekiel 34:26b)
“He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:45)
“Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.” (Proverbs 30:7)
God blesses both the just and the unjust. You may consider that as unfair but God is supreme and sovereign to do whatever he pleases. What the unjust will do with God’s blessing is another matter, but remember we all have to render account for our deeds on Judgment Day.
A good many of us have grown up thinking that we should, among other things, pray for others and seek their interest also, always putting others first and ourselves last. Whilst this practice will bring us joy and peace it should not be pushed to the point of sacrificing our personal needs. That could be suicidal. Nothing should stop us from seeking blessings for ourselves from the Giver of all good things. And it is not about charity that begins at home in keeping with the modern world trend. It is rather about meeting our minimal essential needs.
For a certainty God in his infinite wisdom will bless us even when we do not ask him to. He is aware of our needs; nothing is hidden from him; yet, there are times when we may have to ask. Our Lord Jesus taught us to ask in order to receive. “Ask and it will be given to you: seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8)
In the book of First Chronicles we are introduced to a fellow named Jabez. His name stands for suffering. No doubt his mother must have suffered tremendously birthing him and wanted to post a milestone for remembrance. By giving her son that name she would always call to mind the real incident. It got to a point where Jabez could no longer stomach the mockery, ridicule and shame linked to his name. So he solicited God’s assistance. He prayed in desperation; “O that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. ” (1 Chronicles 4:10) Indeed God granted it.
Did he pray from the bottom of his heart? Was his prayer sincere and effective? Whatever it was, Jabez wanted to break from the hold of his past. Our God is a good God. He says in his word that when we call upon him, he will answer. (Jeremiah 33:3) There are no calls waiting in heaven, every prayer is an emergency. “And God granted his request.”It is said of our God “… that he is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or think, according to his power that is at work within us …” (Ephesians 3:20)
God is in the business of blessing his children. He blessed Abraham because he saw in him the attributes that glorified his holy name. He blessed Abraham’s seed Isaac and Jacob. They never asked for it. He blessed Joseph beyond his wildest expectations by elevating him to the post of Prime Minister in Egypt, a foreign land. It was God’s will to shower manifold blessings on them that flowed down to generations untold. He can bless you too if only like Jabez you are in desperate need of a blessing. He expects you to make the move, if up until this time you have not put in your request for help over a critical situation.
Jabez surmounted his difficulties by appealing to God. He did not trust on either his strength or his might. He humbled himself and God granted him his heart’s desire.
Blessings are not counted in material possessions or money, they come in different gift wraps and in diverse forms: good health, fatherly wisdom or motherly love, long life to see our great grandchildren or even become a world figure. We must not always expect blessings in monetary terms.
Read what the writer of Proverbs wrote: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Be bold, be specific about the kind of blessing you expect, then leave to God to decide.