Here are 3 surprising ways God brings blessings into our lives.
Opposition is a sign you are doing something right. If no one is opposing you, it means you are not standing for anything important.
There’s a difference between being a peacekeeper and a peacemaker. In Matthew 5:9 Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
A peacekeeper is willing to do anything to be liked by others, to not offend people, and to be at one with everyone. But a peacemaker recognizes that Christians are supposed to be divided from godlessness (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) and we seek to make peace through sharing the gospel. There is a divide between believers and unbelievers, and our goal as Christians is to make peace through Christ, not keep peace without Christ. We must not try to keep peace with those who hate God.
This is why we will always eventually be persecuted if we are truly shining for Christ. As Jesus also said in Matthew 5:10-12, which states:
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
So if you are being persecute, this is actually a reason to rejoice. While persecution comes with obeying God, so does massive blessings. As Jesus promised in Mark 10:29-31, which reads:
Jesus said, ‘Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.’”
2. A Severed Relationship
While we cannot force people to love us, we can cut people out who are doing us harm. The reason we struggle to do this is because relationships are often a mixed bag. You may be getting some love from this person, but you may also be getting a lot more pain and stress too.
You can’t let this trickle of love tempt you to remain in this desert devoid of water. You can’t let a leaky roof that keeps a little water off of you from going out and seeking a better shelter that actually protects you during the storms. You can’t let the morsels of bread keep you stuck in a relationship that is starving you of love.
When you sever an unhealthy relationship that has a little good in it, you are then making it possible to find a relationship that is mostly good with only a little bad in it. Notice I did not say you will go out and find a perfect person who will give you perfect love. Only Jesus can provide you with that.
Every human relationship will have unhealthy moments, sins that need to be forgiven, and areas that need to be improved upon. But that is different than being in a relationship that is mostly dysfunctional and mostly damaging. Notice the balance found in Ephesians 4:31-32 between forgiving faults while also getting rid of evil so it doesn’t continually plague you. It states:
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Yes, forgive someone for their sins. But if someone is not repenting and they are bitter, full of rage and anger, brawling and slanderous, envious and malicious – you are to get rid of this. Sometimes the only way to do that is by forgiving this person and then removing them from your life so you can be blessed with healthier relationships in the future.
3. Giving Up
Christianity proclaims dying so you can live (Luke 17:33), being last so you can be first (Matthew 20:16), and serving so you can lead (Mark 10:42-45).
When we give up trying to get what we want and we are truly content in Christ even when we don’t have that thing we desire, this is often when God gives us that blessing (James 4:3).
In love, God never wants anything to come before our relationship with him. And so he often needs to wait until we fully surrender this desire to him, truly accepting that it may never come into our lives, and fully prepared to serve him no matter what.
In Joshua 6, God told the Israelites to destroy Jericho but to not take any plunder. In Joshua 7, it was revealed that some of the Israelites did not listen, they took plunder from Jericho, and because of this, God brough defeat on them. Only after they repented and fully gave up all the plunder from Jericho did God then bless them. And in Joshua 8, he then released the Israelites to receive the spoils of war, “And you shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king. Only its spoil and its livestock you shall take as plunder for yourselves” (Joshua 8:2).
Likewise, God will often release his blessings on you once you are willing to give up those blessings for him when he asks.
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