I have been wanting to share a little bit from my pastors sermon last week, because I thought that it gave a different perspective on things that I hadn't thought about before. The sermon was on God's blessings. The scripture verse is Luke 2: 25-35.

I won't quote it all here, just part of it. In this scripture, Simeon was told by the holy spirit that he would see Christ before he dies and then Simeon meets Mary, Joseph, and Jesus as a child. When he sees them he is overjoyed, and he pronounces a blessing on them. The scripture says, " And Joseph and His mother Mary marveled at those things which were spoken of him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, ' Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also) that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.' ."

My pastor was talking about how this blessing was unlike what we think about in terms of a blessing. He said that can you imagine someone meeting your child and first saying wonderful things, and then suddenly giving a blessing that is full of bad things. In today's time, we tend to think of a blessing being only the good things. When people have things going well for them, we look at them and say that they are really blessed. In reality, a blessing contains both good and bad things. The pastor went on to say that a true blessing is one that accomplishes God's will in our lives. This includes both the good and bad. Sometimes the bad is necessary. Just because someone is going through a bad time, it doesn't mean that they don't have God's blessing, or that they are not in God's will. Jesus went through trials and temptations and ultimately was beaten and crucified on a cross for a crime that he never committed. And that was all part of God's blessing in his life. It is through both the bad and the good that God's blessings shine.

Anyhow, I enjoyed this different perspective that my pastor gave last week. I hope I explained it all right. It's hard to summarize a sermon in just a few paragraphs.
BookWorm, I had never heard anyone focus on that before and it sounds like a great and uplifting message. Wish I had been there to hear it. Of course, your Pastor focused on the blessing and to have added anything more to it, would have detracted from that specificd message. But I also see other valuable points to ponder. The blessing is also a prophecy and maybe your Pastor can deliver a sermon on that, as a follow-up. And if he does, then you can share that with us too, so we can be edified as well. Thanks for the post.
Peter, yes, the focus of the sermon was on the blessing and how we normally think of blessings as being all good and happy things, but in reality a blessing encompasses both the bad and the good. It is all the things that accomplishes God's will in our lives. The prophecy part was not focused on, but it was mentioned to demonstrate how even the negative part of the blessing is necessary for accomplishing God's will.

I really liked the sermon because it gave an entirely new outlook on what we think of as a "blessing." I don't think that I have ever heard someone say "God has blessed me with cancer." Or "God has blessed me with miscarriage." Etc. In reality, those things may be a part of his blessing if they lead us to accomplishing his plan for us. I am reminded of Gianna Jensen the abortion survivor. I saw her speak one day many years ago, and she sang "Mary Did You Know?" Her testimony is amazing. Despite living through a botched abortion and having cerebral palsy, she is a living testimony for God. And if we really think about it, all those negative, horrible things in her life are her blessing. They are what makes her such a profound testimony for God.


That is certainly a different angle and one I never considered BookWorm thanks.

If I can add something. My Pastor was preaching on the same subject a while back. It seems Simeon was at one time High Priest. God began to speak to him as he read the scripture about the Messiah coming as a suffering Messiah. This was none to popular and Simeon was told to abandon his belief or step down. He lost his position, his standing in the community and most of his worldly possesions but still he clung in faith to the revelation God had given him. He finally received the greatest treasure of all when he look upon the very face of God come to earth. What a faithful servant and what a blessing he received.
Thank you, Bookworm, for that very uplifting message! It reminds you to be thankful in everything!

Thank you, Boanerges for that background info on Simeon. Makes him more real, oh, that's not what I mean! I mean, he's been a background character for so long, people dont really think about him much. Just another guy at the temple. But this fleshes him out and makes what he said all the more meaningful, ya know?
And what about the widow, Anna, that spoke about Him, too?
Not alot is said of her, either.


Pastor Frank had wriiten a book about Simeon .

A few facts about Anna:


an'-a (Anna (Westcott-Hort, Hanna; see Intro, 408); Hebrew equivalent channah, signifying "grace" 1 Sam 1:2):
(1) The wife of Tobit (Tobit 1:9).
(2) A "prophetess," daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher, and thus a Galilean, living in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' birth (Lk 2:36-38). "Of a great age," she must have been considerably over 100 years, having been a widow 84 years after a short married life of seven (see the Revised Version (British and American)). Exceptionally devout and gifted in spirit, she worshipped so constantly "with fastings and supplications night and day," that she is said to have "departed not from the temple." Some have mistakenly supposed that this signified permanent residence in the temple. The fact that her lineage is recorded indicates the distraction of her family. Tradition says that the tribe of Asher was noted for the beauty and talent of its women, who for these gifts, were qualified for royal and high-priestly marriage. While the tribe of Asher was not among the tribes that returned from the Babylonian exile to Palestine, many of its chief families must have done so as in the case of the prophetess. The period of war and national oppression, through which Anna's early life was passed, created in her, as in the aged Simeon, an intense longing for the "redemption" promised through the Messiah. See SIMEON. This hope of national deliverance sustained her through more than four decades of patient waiting. In the birth of Jesus her faith was abundantly rewarded, and she became a grateful and ceaseless witness "to all them that were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem," that the day of their spiritual deliverance had come.
Above info from
On #1 it’s a good thought we should think more often. Dt.28 lists blessings & curses (read ‘educative discipline’). Ancient Israelites tended to think that pleasant things followed obedience, and in their geographical land based covenant, this was a core idea, though frustrated by evil within the community. Many failed to see the inner work of blessing, an aspect we should be more aware of in our lives. We speak of “a blessing in disguise”, and the disguise can seem like an enemy, even the enemy death. God teaches his children (Heb.12), even by severe mercies.

This said we should not assume all adversity is intended as blessing. Paul prayed against his “thorn” until sure that it was from God. Dowie rebuked his parishioner who called an epidemic “God’s ways”, and went on to an outstanding divine healing service. There is also a middle way that many of us perhaps tread. Namely, we don’t always allow all God’s blessings and don’t always avoid all of Satan’s cursing, and muddle on. But even in our muddling we are being transformed by God if we seek obedience to his will.


And yet we know this:

Rom 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Even Paul gladly embraces His thorn and recognized that no matter what the source God turned it for His benefit:
2Co 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
2Co 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
2Co 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
2Co 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

1Th 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

We are to live with a beatitude attitude of gratitide:).