Spiritual, natural? – The nature of blessing
What is blessing? Health, success, a good life? Not necessarily, because the nature of God’s gifts is more spiritual than natural. In a divine service the Chief Apostle went back to the basics.
Daniel and his friends had a good life, and this in spite of the fact that they had refused to pay the price their careers demanded. They had been expected to eat the royal food and thus violate the commandments of God. But they refused and remained faithful to God, and God blessed them.
“How is this blessing revealed?” Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider asked in the divine service in N’Djamena on 22 January 2017 in Chad, which was based on Daniel 3: 17–18. His answer consisted of four parts.
A question of priority
“We have to work and earn a living to be able to pay for our food, clothing, and lodging.” In fact, he said, it is quite normal to want to be happy and successful in life. The example of Daniel and his friends shows what we need to do.
“The kingdom of God is our priority,” the Chief Apostle continued. “We have promised to keep His commandments. We have promised to prepare ourselves for the day of the Lord.” That is why we have to do both, he said. We have to work for our prosperity and remain faithful. “Then God will grant us His blessing.”
Blessing for ourselves and others
How does blessing manifest itself?
- Blessing means that success does not deprive us of our faith. “We have kept Jesus, we have peace in our hearts, we have His salvation.”
- Blessing means that failure does not cost us our faith. “We have not sold our souls to the devil, and we are not embittered. We are happy in Christ.”
And that in turn means blessing for other people.
- Blessing is when our own success does not harm others. “Those who keep the commandments will never hurt their neighbour.”
- Blessing is when this kind of success serves as an example for others. “It shows that it is possible to do what Jesus asks of us.”
In summing things up the Chief Apostle said: “God blesses the work of those who obey Him by giving them peace.”