All of us have had adversity in our lives. All of us have likely asked why such adversity comes our way, but have you ever asked why blessings come your way. It is one thing to ask “why” when bad things happen, but it is another thing to ask “why” when good things happen. The Psalmist in Psalm 67 offers us the answer as to why good things come our way. He says, “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations” (Ps 67:1-2).
This song of blessing mirrors the priestly blessing offered to the people of Israel in Numbers 6:22-27. Asking for the blessing of God is meant for the praise of God. The Psalmist goes on to say, “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you” (v 3). God blesses His people, so that His people might make His salvation known to the ends of the earth. Yet, the spreading of God’s name is ultimately for God’s fame. God’s desire is the praise of all peoples, regardless of ethnicity, language, or culture.
God doesn’t simply save because people need saving, but because He is worthy of praising. Yes, people need saving, but more than that God is worthy of the devotion of all peoples. God blesses us, so that His fame might spread to the ends of the earth for His glory and praise.
If this is true, and I believe it is, then we must reevaluate the use of our lives and our churches for this end. In other words, how am I as a husband, father, neighbor, and coach living for the spread of God’s fame and the glory of His name? How am I making Him know through the many blessings that He has lavished on me? Am I more prone to hoard God’s blessings in my life or herald God’s name through these blessings?
What about in our churches? Are we more inward focused on ourselves—our wounds, our needs, our wants, etc., then we are on making Jesus famous across the street and across the sea? What if our churches focused their budgets and their ministries around using the blessings of God as the means of proclaiming God? What if our mission, vision, and strategy revolved around the sole purpose of using our blessings as the means of investing in the lives of others for the spread of God’s fame and the glory of His name? What if we were less concerned, as one friend puts it, about potholes in our parking lot, mildew on our steeples, and shag carpet in our buildings?
What might God do in us and through us if we viewed and used our blessings as the means of advancing Jesus’ name for the praise of all peoples? After all, this is why we were made and saved. We are meant for so much more than buildings, budgets, and business meetings (not that these are unimportant). We are meant to proclaim His name for the praise of His name.