Just like you cannot earn God’s love, you do not have to earn the many blessings He has for you. God is graceful and merciful. He is Love manifested. There are some blessings we choose. We choose salvation or reject Jesus. We choose life or death. Deuteronomy 30:15-20 reads,
“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish. You shall not live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, 20 loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
The choice to obey the Lord is not one that means multiple choices, obey Him now, disobey Him then, have Heaven (the Land promised to us) given and snatched away depending on how well we are obeying. It is the offer to choose to follow God by faith, to love Him with our entire being and be saved by grace through faith for always unless we choose to walk away from Him. Nothing including your sin can snatch you away from the Father (John 10:27-30). Your sins, all of them, are forgiven (Psalm 103:3). That choice is one we make and receive life, which is blessing, or death, which is curse.
Some blessings are for everyone, regardless of salvation. The sun, the seasons, this earth, and the love of God. Acts 14:15-17 reads,
…We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
But, salvation brings with it a multitude of blessings. It brings hope, assurance, perseverance, and joy. But it also brings other blessings. Psalm 103 lists some of the blessings or benefits of following Jesus. It reminds us that we ought to remember them, that is bring them to mind often so that we can bless God (make him happy) with praises. That is what verses 1-2 say,
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
Then David goes on to praise God as he reminds us of some blessings of salvation.
Verses 3-6 read,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
- He forgives all our sins!
- He heals all our diseases!
- He saves us from Hell and death as He gives value to our lives!
- He loves us unswervingly and gives unfaltering mercy (undeserved kindness)!
- He provides, He even gratifies and pleases us with good in order that we can stay strong through every circumstance.
- He is just and will always work for righteousness and justice.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
You see, God understands we are not perfect, we make mistakes, we sin, we are human. He doesn’t deal with us in our imperfection, He deals with us in His perfect love and mercy! Our mistakes do not mean He will not heal or save us or provide for us. We cannot earn retribution for what He has and chosen not to punish, just like we cannot earn blessings and gifts that He has chosen to give us.
So, are you asking, “Why haven’t I been healed?” “Why am I facing eviction?” Believer, it is not because you did some sin or didn’t do some good work. There are many possibilities as to why you are still waiting for healing, still waiting for that promise to manifest, or are going through a trial that does not feel like a blessing. None of them has anything to do with what you are doing or not doing. None of them is because you worded a prayer wrong or didn’t pray hard enough, or lied to your friend about what you thought of his new cowboy boots. Maybe the reason is really simple, you didn’t ask, or you want that thing for the wrong reason. You want it to mollify your appetite instead of glorify Jesus. James 4:2-3 reads,
You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions
It is possible that the thing you desire so much, that you’re sure is good just isn’t God’s will for you; He wants something better for you and giving you that seemingly good thing would derail the great things He has planned for you. 1 John 5:13-15 reads,
I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
And Jeremiah 29:10-14 reads,
“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Sometimes, it is just that you have to wait for the right time. God knows the plans He has for you, He knows exactly the right moment to fulfill a promise, to bring you out of a trial, or to give you the good gift He has. The trial has a purpose, and it is a good purpose. Romans 5:1-5 reads,
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
The people with the greatest faith are not those who never had to exercise faith. When you endure a trial, you turn to God, you pray, you cry out to Him, you experience His comfort, grace, and kindness in ways you never could if you didn’t realize your great need for His comfort, grace, and kindness. The suffering we experience conforms us to the image of Christ. That is what is meant by Romans 8:28-30, that is why it comforts so much. It doesn’t comfort us because it means “it will all turn out okay in the end.” That amazing and powerful passage reads,
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
As much as I want to continue and tell you the many blessings that are yours in Christ. I will have to continue another day. Today, just understand that God adores you and He does not change. He has already blessed you, whether you have seen it yet or not.
There are some promises with conditions, some blessings that come along with prerequisites and we will take some time to look at those another day. But, the main requirement for the majority of the abundant blessings of God is that you love Him and let Him love you.