Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.
The blessings of God’s grace are true blessings, which in all seriousness we ought to seek after.
By these marks shall you know them. True blessings, are such blessings that come from the pierced hand; blessings that come from Calvary’s bloody tree, streaming from the Savior’s wounded side – your pardon, your acceptance, your spiritual life: the bread that is true food, the blood that is true drink – your oneness to Christ, and all that comes of it – these are the true blessings. Any blessing that comes as the result of the Spirit’s work in your soul is a true blessing; though it humbles you, though it strips you, though it kills you, it is a true blessing. Though the plow goes over and over your soul, and the deep plow blades cut into your very heart; though you are maimed and wounded, and left for dead, yet if the Spirit of God does it, it is a true blessing. If he convinces you of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, even though you have not up till now been brought to Christ, it is a true blessing. Anything that he does, accept it; do not be dubious of it; but pray that he may continue his blessed processes in your soul. Whatsoever leads you to God is a true blessing.
- Riches may not do it. There may be a golden wall between you and God.
- Health will not do it: even the strength and marrow of your bones may keep you at a distance from your God.
- But anything that draws you nearer to him is a true blessing.
What if even it is a cross that raises you? Yet if it raises you to God it shall be a true blessing. Anything that reaches into eternity, with a preparation for the world to come, anything that we can carry across the river, the holy joy that is to blossom in those fields beyond the swelling flood, the pure cloudless love of the brotherhood which is to be the atmosphere of truth forever – anything of this kind that has the eternal immutable mark on it – is a true blessing. And anything which helps me to glorify God is a true blessing.
- If I am sick, and that helps me to praise him, it is a true blessing.
- If I am poor, and I can serve him better in poverty than in wealth, it is a true blessing.
- If I am treated with contempt, I will rejoice in that day and leap for joy, if it is for Christ’s sake – it is a true blessing.
Yes, my faith shakes off the disguise, snatches the covering from the blessing, and counts it all joy in various trials for the sake of Jesus and for the reward that he has promised. “Oh, that we may be blessed!”