Blessings are a central theme throughout the Bible. God desires to bless His people in many ways. As Christians, it is important for us to understand what the Bible teaches about receiving blessings so that we can align our lives and attitudes with God’s principles. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the key Bible passages about blessings and how they apply to believers today.
The Bible has a lot to say about blessings and our role in receiving them. At the outset, it’s important to understand that every good gift comes from the Father above (James 1:17). God wants to bless His children, but there are certain spiritual laws and principles in place for receiving blessings. As we strive to understand and apply these biblical truths, we position ourselves to receive the many blessings the Lord intends for us.
- Blessings come from God and are a part of His will for our lives.
- Obedience and righteousness position us to receive blessings.
- Faith and thankfulness are keys to experiencing blessings.
- God blesses us to be a blessing to others.
- Not all blessings are financial or material. Many blessings are spiritual, relational, emotional, and health-related. -Trials and spiritual warfare can hinder blessings, but God ultimately prevails.
- God’s timing and will determine the blessings we receive. We must trust His plan for our lives.
With these key principles in mind, let’s explore what the Bible teaches about receiving blessings.
God Desires to Bless His People
Multiple passages throughout Scripture reveal God’s desire to bless His people. In fact, conferring blessings is fundamental to who He is. After creating the heavens and earth, God blessed the living creatures and Adam and Eve, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:22,28). As a good Father, God takes pleasure in giving good gifts to His children (Luke 11:13). He blessed Abraham so he would be a blessing to others (Gen 12:2). The Psalms describe God as a bountiful provider who blesses His people abundantly (Psalm 107:37-38). Clearly, blessing others flows directly from God’s nature. He promises blessings to those who faithfully follow Him.
Old Testament Blessings
The Old Testament records numerous examples of God blessing His people. He blessed Abraham financially and with a great nation of descendants (Gen 24:1, Gen 24:35). Isaac blessed Jacob with abundant prosperity and a great nation (Gen 27:28-29). God blessed the Israelites with fertile lands, protection from enemies, and mighty kings like David and Solomon. The cup of blessing was part of Jewish religious ceremonies (Psalm 16:5). In Zechariah 8:13, God promised that just as He had punished Israel, He would again bless them abundantly. There are too many examples to list here, but the Old Testament clearly depicts God as a God of blessing.
New Testament Blessings
The New Testament also contains many verses about blessings for God’s people. Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount by pronouncing blessings on the poor, merciful, pure in heart, and persecuted (Matt 5:3-11). He instructs us to bless those who curse us and pray for our enemies (Luke 6:28). When Jesus fed the 5,000, He blessed the food before distributing it (Matt 14:19). He continually blessed children, disciples, and those who came to Him in faith. The last thing Jesus did before ascending to heaven was bless the disciples (Luke 24:50-51).
Elsewhere, the New Testament authors frequently mention blessings for obedience, generosity, wisdom, faithfulness under trial, and perseverance through suffering. Believers are called “blessed” because of their faith in Jesus and the hope of salvation (Matt 16:17). Clearly, God desires to bless His followers richly.
Principles for Receiving Blessings
While God delights in blessing His children, the Bible offers principles for positioning ourselves to receive the blessings intended for us. God is sovereign over all things, but there are certain spiritual laws in Scripture that govern how blessings flow to individuals and groups. Let’s look at some key principles.
Obedience and Righteousness
One of the clearest requirements for blessings is obedience and righteousness. Deuteronomy 28 lists abundant, multifaceted blessings for obedience to God’s commandments and curses for disobedience. The Psalms echo this idea, stating God blesses the righteous but opposes the wicked (Psalm 1:1-3, Psalm 5:12). Proverbs 10:6 says, “Blessings crown the head of the righteous.” Obedience and righteousness open the door for blessings.
Faith and Thankfulness
Faith is a second key that unlocks blessings. We must approach God with unwavering faith that He desires to bless us. James 1:6-7 tells us not to doubt when we ask God for wisdom because double-mindedness will hinder blessings. The Gospels record Jesus emphasizing faith when healing people or meeting needs. He often told recipients of miracles that their faith made them well. When blessing the bread and fish, Jesus did not doubt the Father’s provision. Biblical faith grasps that God is able and willing to bless.
Gratefulness is also vital. James 1:17 states every good gift is from above. Hannah prayed earnestly for a child and promised to dedicate him to the Lord. Her gratefulness positioned her to receive the blessing of Samuel (1 Sam 1). Thanking God positions us to receive further blessings. Psalm 100:4 tells us to “enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” God delights in blessing grateful and faith-filled children who rely on Him.
Generosity and Good Stewardship
While blessings are not earned, generosity often precedes blessing. Proverbs 11:25 states that “whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Similarly, Luke 6:38 promises that as we generously give to others, God will give generously to us. As we freely bless and refresh others, God promises to abundantly bless and refresh us. Of course, God blesses generosity that comes from a cheerful heart, not compulsion or wrong motives (2 Cor 9:7).
Faithful stewardship of what God has already given us also positions us for further blessings. In several of Jesus’ parables, faithful stewards who handle small things well are given greater things and responsibility (Matt 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27). God rewards and entrusts more to those who steward current blessings wisely. Generosity and stewardship are pathways to blessing.
Blessings Can Be Hindered
While God intends to bless His people, Scripture suggests certain things can delay or hinder the manifestations of blessings. God’s timing and will ultimately prevail, but blessings may be slowed at times or withdrawn due to the spiritual state of an individual or nation. Let’s explore some potential hindrances.
Sin and Disobedience
As discussed earlier, disobedience blocks blessings. Isaiah 59:1-2 tells us that sin separates us from God and prevents Him from blessing us as He desires. Israel’s cycle in Judges vividly depicts God’s blessings being withdrawn and enemies prevailing when Israel sinned but blessings returning when Israel repented. Even for believers, willful sin can inhibit blessings and give the enemy footholds in our lives. As 1 Peter 3:7 explains, if a husband is not honoring his wife properly, his prayers may be hindered. Generally speaking, blatant sin erects barriers between us and blessings.
Ungratefulness and Faithlessness
At times in Israel’s history, they complained and doubted God even after seeing His miraculous works. Their grumbling and faithlessness angered God and closed them off to blessings (Numbers 11). Hannah prayed fervently in faith, but Israel often prayed half-heartedly. Asking while doubting God’s goodness cannot expect full blessing (James 1:6-7). Murmuring and entitlement drains thankfulness and faith. This posture stifles blessings that require grateful, dependent hearts.
Trials and Spiritual Warfare
The Bible is realistic that followers of Christ face trials and spiritual attacks. Satan tried thwarting Daniel’s blessings through legislation that banned prayer (Daniel 6). He incited Job’s calamity to shake his faith. Paul’s missionary journeys faced constant warfare. Jesus promised we will have trouble in this world (John 16:33). Trials and resistance aim to derail God’s blessings in our lives. They require persistent faith and wisdom to overcome through God’s power. With Christ’s victory, we can still receive blessings amidst difficulty.
The Nature of Blessings
While we tend to focus on material blessings, the Bible depicts all kinds of blessings. Financial provision, miraculous healings, protection from harm, peace, joy, wisdom, and children are just some examples of blessings. Scripture also reminds us that not all blessings appear positive initially. As Hebrews 12 states, discipline from God is blessing intended to produce holiness. Persevering under challenge yields maturity. So blessings take many forms, not just physical or material. Let’s explore the varied nature of blessings.
Material and Physical Blessings
Certainly, material blessings are emphasized in many passages. Deuteronomy 28 promises material prosperity for obedience. Ecclesiastes 5:19 tells us that to receive wealth and property is a gift of God. Jesus did not condemn material possessions but taught proper perspective. Health, children, fertile lands, and protection from enemies and natural disasters are also notable blessings. These improve earthly life and demonstrate God’s favor and abundance. We must be careful not to judge God’s favor simply by material wealth, but it is biblical to enjoy material blessings from the Lord.
Ephesians 1 has a magnificent section on spiritual blessings for believers in Christ. These include adoption into God’s family, forgiveness, grace, the Holy Spirit’s seal, wisdom, revelation, and being united together with all believers. Colossians 2 also lists profound spiritual blessings like deliverance from sin’s dominion, forgiveness, new life in Christ, and victory through the cross. Psalm 32 depicts the blessings of transgression forgiven and sins covered. God blesses us richly with spiritual riches in Christ (Eph 3:8). These supersede earthly blessings in importance.
Relationships provide another avenue for blessings. God gave Eve to Adam as a blessing and companion. Children, according to Psalm 127:3-5, provide meaningful blessing through relationships. The Book of Ruth beautifully shows familial loyalty blessing Naomi through Ruth. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 talks about friends blessing one another. Fellow believers encourage and bless each other in the Body of Christ. Even difficult marriages and families can become conduits of grace. Relational blessings teach, provide companionship, and reveal God’s love.
Words like peace, joy, comfort, and rest all describe emotional blessings from God. Isaiah 35:10 promises everlasting joy for the redeemed. John 14 has Jesus giving peace as a blessing to His followers. Second Corinthians describes God as the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us to comfort others. God’s blessings are not just material but deeply emotional, providing security, peace and comfort. As Philippians 4:7 promises, the peace of God surpasses understanding and guards our hearts.
Blessings Through Difficulties
As mentioned previously, hardships that refine character also represent blessing. James 1:2-4 exhorts believers to rejoice when facing trials because persevering produces maturity. Romans 5:3-5 echoes this thought, stating that suffering leads to perseverance, character and hope. God can also use pain, discipline and pruning to produce righteousness and spiritual fruit (Hebrews 12:5-11). We balk at pain, but God redeems suffering to bless us in the long-term with Christlike character. By walking faithfully through difficulties, we receive the blessing of refined faith.
Bless Others and Be a Blessing
A key purpose of blessings is to empower us to bless others. Just as Abraham received God’s blessing to be a blessing (Gen 12:2), we are blessed to be a conduit of God’s blessing to the needy around us. Second Corinthians 9:10-12 promises that as we sow generously, God provides abundantly so we can give bountifully to others. We are blessed to be a blessing channel. Proverbs 11:25 follows this principle – as we refresh others, God refreshes us.
The Psalms laud those who consider and bless the poor and needy among them. Jesus pronounced blessings on those who show mercy to others (Matt 5:7). A good measure of blessing awaits those who generously and compassionately bless others. As we meet needs and bless our communities, we store up heavenly reward as well. God blesses us so that we can powerfully impact the world for Christ. We must steward blessings for Kingdom purposes.
Trusting God’s Timing and Will
Clearly God desires to bless His children. But He works according to His perfect will and timing, not ours. Abraham and Sarah had to wait decades for the arrival of their promised son Isaac (Gen 21). Though the crucifixion appeared tragic, it ushered in the blessing of eternal life. Ecclesiastes reminds us there are seasons for all things. Some blessings will await God’s timing in the age to come, while others manifest now. As Isaiah 55:8-9 explains, God has ways and thoughts higher than ours. This requires faith and trust in God’s infallible plan.
When praying, Jesus submitted to the Father’s will, knowing that God would grant requests according to His perfect wisdom and timing (Matt 26:39). Ultimately, God’s will and glory trump our temporary blessings. As Jesus told the disciples, the Father knows what we need before we even ask (Matt 6:8). We can trust His judgment and live generously while awaiting His unfailing blessings.
In summary, God is a generous Father who desires to bless His children abundantly. While His sovereignty dictates blessings, there are biblical principles for positioning ourselves to receive all He intends for us. As we walk in righteousness, faith and gratitude, generously bless others, and trust God’s will, we can anticipate blessings flowing in God’s time. But we must remember that not all blessings appear pleasant initially. Hardships that refine character are also blessings. As we encounter various trials, we must cling to God and His purposes for our maturity and hope. God promises delight and reward when we diligently seek Him through challenges. While blessings can be complex, we can fully rely on God’s faithfulness. As we stay in loving relationship with Christ, He will shower spiritual and tangible blessings from His endless supply. To God alone be the glory!