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Less Stress and More Strength

Dear Friend,

GiG, I awakened to my own “fire swamp”—too many obligations, too much stress, and not enough sleep or strength. But even in this state of mind, I recognize I’m blessed.

Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine. Psalm 16:5 NLT

God repeatedly promises to bless us, His children, and this is one of our chief motivations for following and obeying Him. And yes, we all want to be blessed. And if you don't, I have a nice comfy couch in my office where you can sit and explain. Often our blessings are material. After all God knows that we need food, clothing, and shelter. In the Old Testament, God’s people considered themselves particularly blessed if they had these things in abundance.

Like many of us today, people then also considered themselves blessed if they had good health, obedient children, and were spared during disasters and times of danger.

Then there’s the blessings in the New Testament, Jesus came to save us from the ultimate danger, hell, fire, and damnation and to bring us instead the ultimate blessing—eternal life in heaven. In addition, he taught us that just because we’re poor, hungry, and persecuted, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t blessed. We’re just as surely blessed—we just must wait till we get to heaven to receive our reward.

GiG, it’s funny how information is perceived through sources. Yesterday, I was reading a professional article, albeit secular, that would deem this way of thinking as religious bias. The example cited was, “a person who believes that God answers prayers is unlikely to abandon this belief even when their prayers are not answered.” Ah, the writer missed the point, there was an answer; it happened to either be no or not yet. Dah! Sorry for the sidebar; had a lot of professional reading to do this week.

In the meantime, let’s not forget that we’re blessed with peace and joy.

20 Then Jesus turned to his disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours. 21 God blesses you who are hungry now, for you will be satisfied. God blesses you who weep now, for in due time you will laugh. 22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way. Luke 6:20-23 NLT

May we be encouraged to love God, after all doing so is the greatest of virtues and to be loved by God is the greatest of blessings. And as Pastor Steve Boschen would say—“Jesus is the blessing and the blessor!” Ah what a win-win.

God’s Got It…so we can REJOICE—If our only blessings were possessions, in heaven we would be the poorest of souls. But because God made Himself our best blessing, we are rich both here and for eternity.


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