“Under the power of blessing, we don’t work hard in order to have hope — we work hard because we have hope. As blessed people, we don’t excel in order to prove who we are — we excel because we know who we are.”- Alan Wright
“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”- 1 Corinthians 2:16 (ESV)
Pastor Alan Wright concludes Chapter 2 of The Power to Bless with two reasons why the blessing must come first.
1. Hope comes before hard work. You need blessing in order to have hope. And hope provides the opportunity for victory. Therefore, when you take a defeatist stance, you find it very difficult to make yourself try. So, hope must first instill the energy, passion, and commitment that lead to success.
Above all, the Bible’s definition of hope differs markedly from the modern English usage of the word. For example, it’s wishful thinking to buy a lottery ticket in the ‘hope’ of winning millions. Because, deep down, you know that reality is quite unlikely. However, biblical hope = joyful expectancy, powerful enough to rearrange your whole life.
2. Positive identity comes before productivity. If people thrive when someone believes powerful things about them, Alan asks, how much more powerful is a faith-filled blessing spoken directly into our hearts.
Consequently, such a blessing creates the impetus for you to form a new identity. Next, you live to match it. Because how you think about yourself determines how you live. That’s why names take on great importance. For what others call you, and what you call yourself, shapes the direction of your life. As a result, Alan stresses, it’s a great blessing to hear who we truly are.
In conclusion, Pastor Wright applies this concept to Jacob:
“Though Jacob spent most of his life trying to prove himself to others, God wanted him to know his real identity: Israel, a blessed man who had nothing to prove — a man who, instead of deceiving and cheating others, brought his struggles to God.”
Today’s question: Under the power of blessing, what Bible verses sustain your hope? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The Ephraim and Manasseh blessing”