Church of God, Carmichael, CA

Rays of Hope

D. O. Teasley, 1909

[Original Page Numbers]


A Book of Encouragement

Blessings

  Blessing in the sense in which I wish to use it signifies the favor, kindness, and goodness of God to His people all good things, gifts, graces, and privileges, that God bestows. These blessings may be either spiritual (Eph. 1:3) or temporal. Deut. 28:2.

  Blessings may refer to this life, to the judgment, or to eternity; but the blessings of which I now wish to speak are those received in this life. We hear a great deal said about blessings, but there are many people who do not know what a blessing is, or what is a blessing to them or what is a curse to them. Many people spend much time in praying for a blessing, and then when the blessing comes, they absolutely refuse to have it, not because they do not want a blessing, but because they do not know that it is a blessing. A blessing is anything that will do us good, whether it produces good feelings or not. To a great many people the word "blessing" means nothing more than a superficial emotion. It certainly is a blessing to feel happy, but the sorrows and the trials of life are needed to teach us the value of bliss. We can understand the greatness of our bliss only by contrasting it with our sorrow. If we had never seen a cloudy day, we could not so well appreciate the sunshine. Those who have never been ill do not know so well how to appreciate health. Were it not for the shades of night, we could not rightly appreciate the daydawn and the sunrise. When weeping has endured for a night, it maketh the joy that cometh in the morning seem seven fold. [64]

  If we would know who is truly blessed, let us inquire who is the man that God counts blessed. "Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways." Psa. 128:1. "And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." Matt. 5 :2 12. "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." James 1:25. "And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord." Luke 1:45. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." Jas. 1:12.

  Who knows better than the Lord what is a blessing to the soul of man ? Do you not see that in the enumeration of things which He has said make people blessed He has not once mentioned what you have often thought were the greatest blessings? Has He not enumerated those things which you have considered calamities rather than blessings? Who knows better—you or the Lord? Would you have a blessing? Then, trust with all your heart in the providence and the power of God. Believe that whatever He sends, and even those things that Satan may bring, yea, even the sorest temptations, will prove a blessing; for "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Rom. 8:28. Some people pray for a blessing, then when the [65] Lord sends a trial to see whether they will endure it, they shrink from the first step toward the land of blessings and refuse to put their feet on the very stepping stone that would bring a blessing. "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation"—not always the man who has temptations, but the man who endures temptations. God has promised to bless you if you will serve Him, if you will walk uprightly, if you will trust Him; but you must allow Him to choose the road to the blessing. You must learn to let Him who knows better than you do what a blessing is, choose your blessings for you, and then accept them thankfully whether you can see that they are blessings or not. It is said of Jacob that God made him to suck honey out of the rock; so if the Lord leads you to a rock, you must not doubt Him and say there is no honey in it.

  There is a class of people who spend most of their time preaching about and praying for what they call blessings. Such people are usually totally ignorant of what a real blessing is. They are often void of the real Christian grace and feeding on and living for superficial emotions and the feelings that they are able to "work up." In most cases they are worked up, for they do not come down. People who live on such food are void of establishment and Christian endurance. They are unable to bear the trials and temptations of one day. While they pray for what they call a blessing and jump about and shout and try by human effort to manufacture a blessing, they trample beneath their feet the blessed truth of the gospel, that which alone can bless them, and neglect to get the strength to endure temptation and walk uprightly. Let the shout of joy and the glad emotions come if they will, but do not try to manufacture them by human effort.

  Finally, let me say that the Christian life begins and ends with a blessing. The Christian life begins where God forgives our sins. "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." Acts 3:26. The Christian life ends when we depart to be with the Lord, and in this we receive the crowning blessing, the climax of all our joys. "And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from [66] henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them." Rev. 14:13.[67 top]

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Justification, Sanctification, Unity
Carmichael, California USA

5334 Whitney Ave. Carmichael, CA. 95608
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