Apr 25 2012

Do we earn blessings?

You know how when you were a kid, or maybe you do this with your kids, you have one of those reward charts.

Good behavior earns a sticker, and when a kid gets so many, they get a new toy or a treat.

Sometimes I think we misunderstand and think God works like that.  Assuming that he has a straightforward reward system for good behavior.  If we’re good, He blesses us.  For bad behavior, he punishes us.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that’s right.

Reading through Laura Story’s devotional book, “What if Blessings Come Through Raindrops”.  It’s about how to deal when life turns out not to be the fairy tale you planned, and not blaming God for it.   

You can enter to win the book and her CD Blessings today here on my page.  Just tell me about a Blessing in Disguise in your Life.

In the book, she uses the example of Abraham.  God promised he would be the “father to many nations”.  He finally answered the prayer when he was a very old man, which was not the way he saw his life going down for him.  I’m sure he got petty impatient.  But through his children God created the nation of Israel. 

We have no reason to believe that Abraham had done anything to earn God’s good favor.  In fact, his behavior was far from perfect.

I loved Laura’s take on it:  “As we consider the blessings God pours out on our own lives, do we see them as resources to hoard or opportunities to help someone else?  When something happens in our lives, for better or for worse, she challenges you to stop and ask, “How can I use this blessing for you God?”

Kind of makes you look differently at what you’re going through today.

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Comments (19) -

4/25/2012 9:47:07 AM
Joe United States
Joe
A blessing in disquise in my life is my job I was just graduating college and need a job so bad in my life to pay off student loans. I put in an application at Dollar General and i knew somebody who knew the manager and they put in a good word for me. He called and hired me. I am so grateful to have a job in this bad economy and to not only help others with change or money if they are short. But to be a blessing and help them whenever they need it.
4/25/2012 9:53:33 AM
Nancy D'Epiro United States
Nancy D'Epiro
...my 'blessing in disguise' was and continues to be revealed to me...my husband died over 3 years ago...it has,been nightmarish at times, and yet, Gods loving hands gently pick you up and hold you...I had not known this great love He had for me prior to my husband's death...I can truly say that I would not trade all of this to have my husband back, ever it were possible...
4/25/2012 9:55:42 AM
Crystal United States
Crystal
My senior year in high school I had a HUGE falling out in my family. I was young, didn't know where my life would go from here and why God was treating me this way. After days of crying and calling my mom and having her pray repeatedly for me, with me. I felt a tug in me and I made the hard choice to leave everything I knew and everything I was comfortable with. I moved to a high school 2 hours away and in 2 months God blessed my life more than I could ever imagine. He came to me the second I moved to a new place, my life changed and God marched his way in and lives in my heart and he is my center of everything.  If I hadn't had made the choice to move, I do not know where I'd be?  I thank God for the strength he blessed me with and my new life in him. It's been 5 years since this falling out and the only one who gave me unconditional love and strength is God. As he still does this very second.
4/25/2012 9:57:20 AM
Estrella Navarrete United States
Estrella Navarrete
I have been blessed with quite a few "blessings in disguise" in my relatively short life (28 years old). Most recently - I fell in love and had a beautiful, enormous wedding months before turning 22. I know thought I was happily married... until it was obvious I wasn't. A few years into the marriage, my then husband began almost demanding we have children. He knew that was impossible, as I have congenital heart disease and have been told by cardiologists that it's too high of a risk for me to have children. We had talked about it during our engagement and had then agreed to one day adopt. Apparently he changed his mind. Totally not fair to me. Right before our 5 year anniversary, he left while I was at work. I filed for divorce 2 months later. It has now been 2 years since that and we never saw each other again. His girlfriend is about to give birth to their child now. I prayed long and hard, with all of my heart, that God bless me with a man that would understand my situation, perhaps with children of his own and not an ounce of desire to have more children. Wow does God answer prayer or what?! I have been blessed with a wonderful boyfriend with 4 children of his own, whom he won physical custody of during the divorce; he was so hurt by his wife's infidelity that he underwent a vasectomy, as he wanted to make sure he gave all of his love and attention to his 4 children, especially after their mother left them, and felt that he didn't need more children. Now we're in this relationship, I'm enjoying being a mother figure, and know I won't be pressured to do something I can't do - have children. I suffered so much towards the end of my marriage and during the separation. Divorce is so taxing, it's a horrible emotional rollercoaster. But during that thunderstorm, I kept faith that God had a better plan for me. He tell me so in Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Blessings! Smile
4/25/2012 10:33:59 AM
Larry United States
Larry
Everything I see as "bad" in my life is a blessing in disguise". Gad has used these things to shape me the way he wants and knows I can be. I can use them in a poitive way to make me stronger and closer to God and man or I can use them as excuses as why I am the way I am and why I can't get what I want. We need to take the bad the same way we take the good. We need to praise Him and thank Him for them.
4/25/2012 10:41:00 AM
Hope United States
Hope
I've had so many "blessings in disguise" moments in my life that I've honestly stopped trying to remember them all-- I just praise God for each and every one of them, knowing I don't deserve a single one! But I guess my biggest "blessing in disguise" was during my marriage. I've wanted to have a child of my own since I was 17, so when I got married at 20 to the man I planned to spend the rest of my life with, I was sure God would bless us with children... but no matter what we tried, I didn't get pregnant. Then less than 1 yr after we married, we went thru a bitter divorce due to his infidelities. That was 15 yrs ago. I've never remarried, and as much as I still love children, I know it was a blessing from God that I didn't have a child who would have to go thru the difficulties of a "broken" family, especially since my ex remarried & lives in another country now. But I do have nieces & nephews to spoil and send home now! Smile
4/25/2012 10:46:38 AM
Maureen United States
Maureen
I am a mother of 4 children, but God had something planned for me with child #4.  From the time she was 12 years old, we weren't sure we could survive all that came with raising the last of 4 with all the new technology and temptations in the world. On many occasions, she had me completely destroyed and wondering if I could make it through another day. At 17, she joined the Navy. We thought this would be the blessing we were looking for. A place for her to grow on her own. After 8 weeks of Bootcamp, she decided to quit and come home. I was devastated. I did not know if I could survive her living with us again. I found myself on my knees.  Then I got in my car and turned the dial to KLOVE. I had never listened to Christian music before.  On the radio was "Blessings". It spoke directly to me. I pulled over and sobbed. It gave me the strength to carry on and to believe that God blesses us in His way, not ours. That song has brought me back to Jesus and I am on a journey to rediscover HIM. Thank You KLOVE and Thank You Laura Story for your amazing song.
4/25/2012 10:53:38 AM
Kimberly United States
Kimberly
A blessing in disguise happened for me when I lost my job of 7 years in June 2010.  I was terrified, but I really think this was God forcing me to make a decision.  I had been extremely unhappy in my job, but not willing to make that leap.  I was unemployed for 3 months and started my new job the same week I got my last severance check. I am MUCH happier in my new job and so grateful to God for putting this position in my path.  I get along well with everyone I work with and now work in a much smaller office, therefore, I don't have to deal with the politics I did at my old job.  
4/25/2012 11:00:40 AM
Anna United States
Anna
My blessing in disguise is my husband leaving me and my 11 month old on the mission field.  Never did I expect God to use the pain to help me see so many aspects of Him and my life that I had never seem before! He has become my passion, my love and my true purpose in life. I am using my circumstances to bless others and enocourage them to see beyond pain.  I once heard a Pastor say, "Your greatest cause hides deep inside your greatest heartache".  There is freedom from circumstances when you look beyond the "mess" and look into our Saviors eyes!
4/25/2012 11:03:05 AM
Bradley A Harris United States
Bradley A Harris
My wife and I have had ongoing battle with fiances for the last three years. There are times I grow impatient for the storm to end. It in those moments that I think God has forgotten me. Then God, at that moment blesses me beyond what I deserve.
We serve an awesome God.
4/25/2012 11:09:02 AM
Christy United States
Christy
My husband lost his job about 5-1/2 years ago. He was hired by a wonderful Christian man a few months later. We learned that this man prayed about every hiring decision he had to make in his career. My husband had to lose his job for this man's prayers to be answered.
4/25/2012 11:17:47 AM
Jenny United States
Jenny
My blessing came about 3 years ago. I married young because I was pregnant. That  marriage only lasted 5 months. I had a rough few years. Had another child out of marriage. Finally met someone that I trusted and married a second time. After a year he walked out on me and my girls. I promised God that I would focus on Him and my girls alone. Boy did God laugh at that promise. 2 weeks before my 2nd divorce was final I met an amazing guy that totally slapped me in the face of what a Christian man looked like. He opened doors for me, he paid for dinner, he never left my children at home when we went on dates. We got married 6 months after our first date. We now have a child together and he has adopted my girls. I thank God everyday for bringing my husband into my life. I have learned to never tell My God what I'm going to do with my life.
4/25/2012 11:40:58 AM
Chas United States
Chas
My blessing was my heart breaking. Last year, my fiance of 5 years told me he was leaving, He no longer wanted the family we had Together. My heart broke, I was devastated, not only for me but for our 5 year old daughter. During one of our "conversations" I asked him if he'd prayed about his decision to which he replied "I don't believe in God!" I knew then what was wrong with our relationship. We had never had a church home or even ever talked about it. Over the next few weeks I listened to K-LOVE and my relationship with God began to grow as I cried out to the only One that could heal my pain. I realized that God had never left me, I was still His, and am never alone. That heartbreak has brought me so much joy and happiness in my Lord! I am truly blessed and thankful for my blessings!
4/25/2012 11:54:58 AM
Stacia United States
Stacia
Last September my husband got a job offer in Roseburg, Oregon for a lot more money than what he had been making.  At that time we lived in Utah and I was praying and praying about the move.  Is this really what God wanted us to do?  God told me I needed to step out in faith.  This was such a hard decision for me to make.  We were struggling financially but our family was happy in Utah.  My husband and I had both loved our church and church family....I didn't want to leave our current life and start over.  Although this was a hard decision to make I knew that if God was telling us to do it then he would take care of us.  I kept referencing to Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future".  

My husband left in October to start work.  Six weeks later our three kids and I were finally able to move too.  At this point we didn't have anywhere to live so the kids and I stayed with my husband's grandparents who lived 2 hours away from Roseburg.  Everyday I was trying to find a place to live and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't find anything we could afford.  About 2 weeks later my husband's grandparents offered to let us use their 5th wheel until we could find a place to live.  We were finally able to be together again as a family!  Four months later we still were living in the 5th wheel.  I was getting angry at God and asking him why did we move all this way to live in a 5th wheel?  This couldn't be his plan for our family, but why was he waiting so long?  There was a house I kept overlooking because it was in the process of being remodeled.  It was also out of the school boundaries my kids were already going to (after everything my kids had gone through I just couldn't move them to another school, it would have been too hard on them).  We were at the point that we just couldn't handle living in that trailer anymore.  

Long story short (because there are A LOT more details), two weeks ago we got the house I kept overlooking (it is exactly the price we were looking for) and my kids were approved to continue going to the same school even though we live out of boundaries.  I'm so happy we finally have a place to live!!!  God's timing is always perfect, I just needed to "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" Psalm 27:14.  Even though it was extremely hard for us to live in that 5th wheel trailer, at least we were together as a family and that was our blessing in disguise.
4/25/2012 6:23:52 PM
Gwyn United States
Gwyn
My blessing in disguise came in college. I grew up in a "take charge" kind of family that taught me to be strong and get things done. While I was in college, all of a sudden, I started experiencing severe panic attacks. I lost 10 lbs. in one week and seriously thought I was "going crazy". It felt like my life was completely out of control. My fiance (now husband of 22 years) was very honest with me that he didn't know if he could stay with me if things didn't change. The range of emotions you go through when experiencing panic attacks is huge. I never understood why that was happening to me like that out of the blue. I eventually got them under control and now they are a distant memory. Fast forward 21 years... An employee of mine witnessed a very traumatic event on the job, a juvenile's suicide. He ended up having to take several weeks off of work because of the post traumatic symptoms he was having. There were many days that he would e-mail me, sometimes multiple times, explaining the emotions, struggles, hurdles he was facing for that particular day. They were the exact same thoughts that went through my head all those years before. Each day I was able to help guide him through and give him hope that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Because of this long road, we discussed my faith several times. There were several days when my daily devotional addressed the very issue he was having that day. We both know that it is truly God at work. He is now counseling with a youth pastor friend of his and doing bible study and his faith is growing. Amen!! He still has a long way to go but I know I could have never helped him if God didn't "bless" me all those year before.
4/25/2012 11:12:33 PM
Peggy Owens United States
Peggy Owens
My blessing in disguise was a blockage in my iliac artery.  For 5 yrs I was treated for arthritis in my hips.  In January of  this year I found out I had a blockage in my iliac artery.  My vascular dr. told me that I might find myself without hip pain after my stent was placed.  Iliac blockage represents itself as hip pain.  After recovering from surgery I found that I had a new lease on life.  I now am able to do things I haven't done in 5 yrs.  God is good, all the time and all the time God is good!!
4/26/2012 6:46:01 AM
Julie United States
Julie
We have had many blessings in disguise but a couple really stand out. One was when we were forced to live in Mexico while my husband was getting his immigration papers sorted out. We did not want to live there, it was very hard but before we left we witnessed to several family members,invited them to church, they accepted Jesus and now regularly attend the same church. It was a blessing to be there for them when they had questions and sought a deeper relationship with God, to be able to help guide them that way. I believe that was God's plan all along for us being there.
Another time my husband had a wreck where someone rammed into his car from behind. Due to missing ONE day of work fr his back injury he was fired!Things looked bleak, no job and my husband injured. Plus it was his first accident and he didn't know to get the other drivers insurance info. just a phone #. Well lo & behold the other driver kept giving us the run around. Then my friend who worked at a large insurance Co. decided to call him on our behalf. When she did, he immediately gave her all his insurance info! Without her even saying anything, we assume he saw her insurance Co's name on the caller ID and it was the same company he had his insurance with! He thought somehow they had found out about his accident & decided to cooperate.Coincidence? I know it was God. We got the money for the insurance AND while he was out of work my husband started doing volunteer work at our church fixing things up. While doing so, he met a man with his own company who hired him making more money than he was before! This was truly one of our many blessing in disguise. Oh and his back is better now too! Smile
4/26/2012 9:31:37 AM
amy United States
amy
On November 10, 1997 my world fell apart with 3 little words.  "She did it"  Thats all I needed to hear to know that my mom had commited suicide.  I was 14.  At that time I was starting to follow my sisters destructive paths.  I went to live with my dad and stepmom.  I changed schools.  I changed friends.  By the grace of God, He changed my life path forever through the death of my mom.  Had I not had to change schools I might not have ever met my wonderful husband of almost 10 years.  We have 5 beautiful children.  I have wonderful inlaws that are strong Christians.  I miss my mom so much but am so thankful that God changed my life.  My "blessing in disguise" toke many years to reveal itself but cant imagine where I would be if He had not changed my life.
5/1/2012 12:36:52 AM
Heather United States
Heather
My blessing in disguise happened almost 6 years ago. I was headed down a destructive path. I knew it was wrong and where i could end up. Then i found myself pregnant. 26, unmarried, and pregnant. As i came to grips with a new reality i made a few more poor decisions. Then July 19th, 2006 i went for a routine visit, i was 36 weeks pregnant, and the baby had no heartbeat. The next day i gave birth to a beautiful little girl, my Alicia Roselee, perfect yet stillborn. My heart was broken, i was devastated and angry. But God is healing my heart. He used that little girl who never took a breathe to help turn me from a destructive path that could have ruined my life. My life isn't perfect, God is still working, but i can see God's grace through a tragedy. He's also given me 3 more beautiful healthy children. I miss my little girl, but have faith, that as short as her life was, it was precious to Him and He will continue to use that experience in drawing me and our family nearer to Him.
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