What is the meaning of blessing? Is it safety, health, comfort or a lack of fear? Is it financial abundance or merely a stable income? Perhaps it is being famous or great in some way? Can it be that some people are more blessed than others?
During a time of persecution, the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.”¹
Faith in Christ
Why would Paul boast about the church enduring persecutions and afflictions? That doesn’t sound like they are living a blessed life! So perhaps our current understanding of blessing needs to deepen toward a more Biblical worldview. Are the millions of people in our world today, who have little material or emotional blessings, not blessed at all? It depends on their faith!
The Lord said to Abram (later known as Abraham) that “all nations would be blessed through him.”² Paul’s letter in the New Testament, in reference to that scripture, reminds the church that through Christ, we no longer need to follow the law in order to be righteous before God. Jesus did this by dying on the cross, “so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.”³
Receiving the Holy Spirit through faith is the blessing to all peoples! Jesus, as a descendant of Abraham, made it possible for both Jews and Gentiles to come to faith. What about those who don’t have the opportunity to hear the good news of the blessing of Jesus in a way that they can understand? Can we say that they are not blessed? Yes, we can . . . and if the greatest blessing is knowing Christ, then we would want everyone to have the opportunity to know him and put their faith in him.
“Receiving the Holy Spirit through faith is the blessing to all peoples!”
One of the values of Create International is that “every person has a right to receive a clearly understood presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” In many areas of the world, nations and people groups are restricted from hearing the Gospel, either by government interference, religious and cultural restrictions, or lack of access or understanding.
This Christmas, even through seasons of suffering, let us continue to pray and work together that all people on this earth may receive the blessing of knowing Jesus Christ and experience steadfastness and faith in their lives through the Holy Spirit.
- Wendy H.
1 - 2 Thessalonians 1:4
2 - Genesis 12:1-3
3 - Galatians 3:13,14