A study of the fact of God's blessings is a wonderful study. God is the greatest giver of all. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast in turning," wrote James (Jas. 1: 17, ASV). The Father exemplified the greatest possible giving when he gave his only begotten Son for sinful man (Jn. 3: 16, for a study of John 3: 16 see link at the end of this material). There are numerous Hebrew and Greek words translated bless, blessed, and blessings. Viewed collectively they mean "to declare happy, to speak well of, very happy." Again, I stress that God is the source of all true blessings (Gen. 1: 22, 28, 5: 2). A good example of God's blessings is seen in the case of Abraham (Heb. 6: 14, see addendum). Let us now focus our study on two areas, those whom God blesses, and blessings in Christ.
Those whom God blesses. In a general sense, God blesses all men in that He has provided for all (Acts 17: 28, Matt. 5: 45). However, in actuality God only blesses certain ones in the sense of his salvation and providence. Consider those whom God has said he blesses (also consider the opposite application).
Those who trust in God. "Blessed is the man that trusteth in him," declared the Psalmist (Ps. 34: 8, see vs. 7-9). To trust in God means we believe him and rely on him. The trust taught is child like, as a child trusts in his parents for provision and guidance (Matt. 18: 1-4).
Those who consider the poor. Again, God plainly speaks through his word: "Blessed is he that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble" (Ps. 41: 1). The biblical principle is, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20: 35).
Those who hear instruction. Wisdom says, "Hear instruction, and be wise and refuse it not" (Prov. 8: 33). "Blessed is the man that heareth me," God's word continues, "watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors" (vs. 34). God also said, "Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish (Prov. 12: 1).
Those who keep God's ways. God's word unequivocally says, "Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways" (Prov. 8: 32). Jesus said, "If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them" (Jn. 13: 17, ASV).
Those who endure. "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," declared the Spirit led James (Jas. 1: 12). Peter taught that if one turns back to the world, it would have been better for him to have never known the way of righteousness (2 Pet. 2: 20-22).
God's blessings in Christ. The casual student of the scriptures should be conversant with the expression "in Christ." It is in Christ that the Father spiritually blesses man today. Hear the apostle Paul: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1: 3). Appreciate the fact that "all spiritual blessings" are in Christ. Notice in particular some of the stated blessings that are enjoyed in Christ.
God's grace is enjoyed in Christ. God's grace is absolutely essential to man's salvation, as man can not merit his salvation (Tit. 3: 5). However, notice where this grace is enjoyed, "Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 2: 1). Hence, those outside of Christ are without God's saving grace (Eph. 2: 12).
The new creature is in Christ. When one submits to God's plan of salvation (means of accessing God's grace), one becomes a new creature, the old man is put to death (Rom. 6: 3 ff). Notice the location of the new creature, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5: 17).
Furthermore, "in Christ" there is no condemnation (Rom. 8: 1). In Christ redemption, being a child of God, and salvation are experienced (Eph. 1: 7; Gal. 3: 26; 2 Tim. 2: 10).
One gains entrance into Christ by water baptism (Rom. 6: 4; Gal. 3: 26, 27). To be in Christ is to be in his spiritual body, the church (cp. Gal. 3: 27 and I Cor. 12: 13; the "body" is the church, Eph. 1: 22, 23).
In closing, all men should desire to be blessed by God in the way we have studied. However, since God is the source of all true blessings, He has the right to name those whom He blesses and state the circumstances of the blessings. We are truly thankful that God has promised to bless man in such a way that man can easily become a recipient of God's blessings. To be blessed of God is to be truly happy (Jn. 13: 17, KJV).
Addendum: Commentator and scholar Robert Milligan comments thus on the expression, "Saying surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee:" "We have in this clause a Hebraism expressive of intensity, both in blessing and in multiplying .The Hebrew literally stands thus: To bless, I will bless thee, and to multiply I will multiply thy seed; that is, I will very greatly bless thee " (New Testament Commentary on Hebrews). (To study John 3: 16, click on click here)