The mechanic kept saying ‘blessed’. “I’ve been blessed.” “You were sure blessed with that one.” On and on. Thinking I’ll throw out a ‘faith flag’ and find a new ‘brother’, I said “You keep talking about being ‘blessed’. What do you mean by that? I assume if you’re blessed, there’s a ‘Bless-er’, right?” He looked away and muddled something like “Yeah, maybe the big man or something”… and changed the subject.
But it raised a huge point. When things go your way, are you lucky or blessed?
And the down side…when things fall apart, are you unlucky or cursed?
You should have seen the faces in my guy’s group when I said “You can’t p_ _ _ God off”. Warped theology, wishful thinking, or Biblical truth?
Point 1 – You don’t necessarily cause God to ‘bless’ you by being righteous. There is no correlation between your “righteousness” and blessings from God’s point of view. Jesus said “He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matt. 5:45b). Good and bad things come to good people and bad people… and vice versa. It’s NOT cause and effect.
Point 2 – You don’t necessarily cause God to punish you by being wicked. You can bring earthly consequences on yourself, but God’s punishment comes after you die.
“But what about this verse?” you may ask.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows” (Gal. 6:7).
No doubt a just God levels severe punishment for wickedness. But in an amazing, mysterious and merciful act, God placed ALL our punishment on Jesus at the cross. The punishment doled out 2000 years ago covered today’s wickedness even though it happened way back then. So God is not mocked. We ‘sow’ evil, but Jesus ‘reaped’ it on our behalf.
Someday in heaven, maybe we’ll understand why God decided to disconnect our performance from His earthly reward and punishment. And notice I used the word “necessarily” above. God is good, He loves us more than we’ll ever know, and I don’t speak for Him. There are times when I know He’s blessed me in some personal way. I know He loves to ‘give good gifts to His children’, but I believe that’s because we’re His children, not because we’ve done something good. Remember, our righteousness is like ‘filthy rags’ compared to His.
We’ll never bring God down to the level where we understand, control or predict Him. And don’t ask me about the part prayer plays in all this…that’s beyond my pay grade. But I do know this…
The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. Psalms 135:6
….and it’s my job to respond in gratitude.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thess 5:18
So I’m going with “blessed”. I’m giving Him credit for everything. I want to respond with “thank you, thank you, thank you” and resist the temptation to link His blessing to anything I did, good or bad.
Question: Are you ‘lucky’ or ‘blessed’? ‘Unlucky’ or ‘cursed’? Tell us here.
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