Why We Should Rejoice When God Blesses Others

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.  Romans 12:1

Why is it so hard to rejoice when God blesses others?

We think Why didn’t he bless me like that? Why didn’t he give me a nice a house? Why did he answer their prayers and not mine?  

Cain winced when God blessed Abel.  Saul ground his teeth when the people shouted, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”  When the Pharisees heard the people praise Jesus, they seethed.  Contrast with John the Baptist.  When crowds thronged to Jesus and John’s followers dwindled, said, “He must increase and I must decrease.”

It should be the most natural thing for us to rejoice when God blesses others because he’s crowned us spiritual billionaires. We’re joint-heirs with Christ. He’s our great treasure and all his riches are ours.  God himself dwells in us, guides, protects, cares for us. An eternity of joy in his presence looms before us.

When we don’t rejoice when God blesses others it shows we don’t appreciate all he’s has done for us.

It shows we treasure material and temporal things more than our great salvation and treasure, Jesus.  We’ve taken our eyes off the one who blesses and forgotten how generous he’s been with us. We’re self-centered and aren’t looking to the interests of others.

In heaven we’ll be glad to see God bless others.

We’ll even rejoice when God honors others above us, for there’s no envy in heaven. There’s no sin in heaven, only love.  In heaven we’ll rejoice to see others rewarded, even when they get more rewards than we do, because we’ll be filled with love for Jesus and others.

When we rejoice with those who are blessed it shows we consider God to be gracious and generous.  

In the parable of the laborers in the vineyard the master paid those he hired last the same as soon as those he hired first. When those he hired first grumbled he said, “I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you.  Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?” (Matthew 20:14-15).  If those who had been hired first had thought about it, they could have expected the master to be generous to them in the future.

A friend shared a story about two couples in his church who were best friends. One couple had prayed for years to have children but had never been able to. When their friends decided to try to have children they conceived immediately and nine months later had a beautiful baby. My friend said he was blown away when he saw the wife who had not been able to have children rejoice with all her heart with her best friend when she first saw her baby.

Let’s ask Jesus for grace to rejoice when he blesses others. Let’s do now what we’ll do forever in heaven.

Comments

  1. cathy says

    I always need to hear that. As much as I think I rejoice with others, there is also the "wow, why not me" voice speaking also.
    I agree wholeheartedly with your prayer.

  2. Mark Altrogge says

    Hi Cathy, thanks for commenting! I'm so glad to know that Jesus can give us the grace to genuinely rejoice with others.

  3. KCB says

    This is perfect timing in my life….I think this is so true: its hard to rejoice for others bc in our limited human knowledge, we see it as unfair…. but God has blessed us so much too and none of it was fair, we deserved none.

    I have found – in singleness, and in other areas of life, that I rejoice easier if I separate my life from others. Many Christians seem to think if you mourn what you don't have – a good job, a baby, a spouse, etc, then you aren't happy for others. I have learned that its possible to be hurting yourself and happy for others. It is possible to hold a friend's baby and be happy for her while still longing yourself. It is possible to be a bridesmaid at a younger siblings wedding, rejoicing for her and still hurting for yourself.

    I feel sometimes -particularly with singles- the church teaches that still feeling down about your own life means you aren't happy for others. Once I realized that I can be happy for others and still in pain, bringing my longings before the Lord, I felt more free to rejoice for others…to feel joy and sorrow at the same time for different people.

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Hi KCB, I especially like this phrase – "bringing my longings before the Lord." I think that's the key to unfulfilled desires and longings we have – to submit them to the Lord and to ask him to comfort us if we are in pain and to help us to be satisfied in him. Thanks for adding your comments! And I commend you for the way you are seeking to please the Lord even in the midst of your own longings and unfulfilled desires.

  4. Lori says

    Ouch! Arrow struck heart. :-)

    I have thought of this often as I remember us praying for the life of our son and God chose to perfectly heal him and take him home. Then I see others pray for God to heal them or a loved one (and He answers "yes") and I think, "Why did He answer their prayer? (The way they wanted Him to.) Does He love them more than He loves me?"

    It is easy to think that way sometimes. We know we shouldn't as we think those thoughts and we know we need to confess our ingratitude and praise God for the way He has worked in someone else's life – as well as our own. We need to trust that He never makes mistakes! He does what is perfect and best in each situation. I think that is what it gets down to for me. Am I thankful for even the hard things that God brings into my life knowing that it is in love and a desire to make me more like Jesus?

    Thanks for always pointing us to Christ and making us think!

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Hi Lori,

      I cannot possibly fathom the pain you have been through in having the Lord take your son. And then to hear you glorify God the way you do – your trust in him and your confidence in his goodness brings him so much glory! I really respect you and only hope I could glorify God the way you are if I ever have to go through anything like you have been through.

  5. Lauren says

    What about when those receivers of gifts are bad people? Like folks who abuse those gifts, or are already on top of the food chain? How do we deal with that, when we ourselves are going through nasty times?

    • Mark Altrogge says

      Hi Lauren, the passage that tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice is speaking about rejoicing with believers when they are blessed. I don't think that God calls us to rejoice that wicked people receive good things, except that we are to recognize how kind God is that he even blesses those who hate him. And he calls us to do the same – to bless those who curse us and pray for those who abuse us. This is different than rejoicing that wicked people are blessed. Psalm 73 is a good one – the author struggled as he saw the wicked prospering until God showed him The eternal destiny of the wicked.

  6. Jon says

    So does this apply to everyone except who reads this? Or are there going to be others who will rejoice for us? It’s hard to believe sometimes we will be repaid with what we give, good or bad. God will bless who he will, and let him. Helping others doesn’t make life better or easier. Unnoticed and soon forgotten.

  7. richardmagic101 says

    Where much is given much is received.When we give forgiveness we receive it too. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Not difficult to understand if you have received much and know from where all good things come from.
    Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all this will be added unto you.Love keeps no record of wrongs. If God is love then yes he wants us to have all good things a father would want his children to have. The only cure for envy is generosity. Generous people do not envy.Rejoice when God gives because it is all his to begin with. We are just caretakers of what he gives us. The more we do with it and the better we are able to handle the more we are blessed with.

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