The Blessing of Doing

The biblical meaning of “blessed” is more than a feeling or a quick response to a question.

“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” (James 1:25 ESV)

“I am so blessed.”

This is a common refrain from many people. Have you heard it? Ask someone how they’re doing, and this is the reply. Comment on their new job, new car, new relationship, or new achievement, and you will hear the same response. It is typically spoken when people feel lucky to have something. Believers and unbelievers both use this phrase.

James used the word blessed to introduce a stunning contrast that describes the positive outcome of doing God’s Word. On the negative side, one who hears the Word and doesn’t do it is like a man who looks in a mirror and forgets what he saw (1:23-24). On the positive side, the one who looks into God’s Word, perseveres, and acts on it will be “blessed in his doing.”

Blessed means happy or enjoying favorable circumstances. It’s the same word used by Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-10). But Jesus’ use of the word reflected a declaration more than a feeling. He declared the poor in spirit as blessed. Similarly, James said that the action of doing the Word brings blessing.

The word looks used at the beginning of James 1:25 carries the idea of stooping down or bending the body into a position that makes it possible to look at something. It’s more than a casual glance. It’s an intentional posture that enables one to consider what is being viewed. That which is being viewed in this passage is “the perfect law, the law of liberty.” No doubt these words further describe “the word of truth” (1:18) and “the implanted word” (1:21). This means that someone is looking intently into the Scripture.

A “doer who acts” is one who works or completes tasks. This is the same word used in 2:14 where James affirmed that works must accompany faith. The one who continues to act is the one who will experience the state of being blessed in his doing.

Doing missions is part of doing the Word, and it can be difficult. Places like South Asia and Southeast Asia are difficult to enter, and they are hard places in which to live. Governments and religions are hostile towards the gospel. Places like Eastern and Western Europe are easier to enter but also difficult for gospel ministry due to secularization. Missions is not easy in any place. But despite the difficulties, those involved in the Great Commission experience the blessing of doing.

Pray that the Lord would send more laborers to both the hard-to-reach places and the easy-to-reach places. Wherever unbelief is present, gospel workers are needed. Pray also that our missionaries will sense the Lord’s blessing as they do his Word.

Let’s pray:

“Father in Heaven, thank you for the blessings that come with doing your Word. Help me to walk in those blessings. Help our missionaries to do the same.”

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