What comes to your mind when you think of God’s blessings? Do you imagine they exempt you from problems, challenges, and trials? Do you think His blessings guarantee your health, wealth, and wisdom? According to Haggai, in spite of problems and trials, even without health and wealth, God’s people are blessed when they pursue God’s priorities. Consider three important truths about God’s blessing.
First, God’s blessings do not erase our past. Notice Haggai’s sermon (2:10-19). He reviewed the Jews’ previous sins (vv. 10-14), and reminded them of God’s severe discipline for those sins (vv. 16-17). Haggai wasn’t rubbing salt in a wound. He intended the reminder to prevent future self-inflicted wounds.
God’s discipline led them to repent and re-adjust their lives. They turned from their priorities and pursued God’s priority assignment—building the temple. They were candidates for God’s supernatural favor.
God forgives our sins and redeems our past, but we are glad He does not erase our past. A reminder of past sins is a blessing in disguise. Someone said, “Those who don’t remember their past are doomed to repeat their past.” God doesn’t want us to dwell on our past or be depressed by our past; He wants us to learn from our past. It keeps us pursuing His priorities.
Second, God’s blessings are not always immediately seen. Often, they are delayed. God promised to bless the people of Jerusalem from the day that they laid the foundation stone of the Lord’s Temple (Haggai 2:15, 19). The people responded to the promise. They reprioritized their lives and began clearing the rubble from the temple mount. They continued the difficult work until all the debris was cleared and they could lay the first foundation stone. The Lord’s blessings were flowing even though they could not yet see them. The seed was still in the barn. The vines, the pomegranates, and the olive trees weren’t yet bearing fruit (v. 19).
Delayed blessings are real today. “We walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Cor. 5:7). However, when we live out God’s priorities for our lives, we can be confident His blessings are flowing—even when we don’t yet see them.
Third, God’s blessings are certain. This is exciting! God’s blessings are as sure as His promises and as certain as His Word. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2); He will not fail.
Live out God’s priorities and you can be certain His blessings are on the way. It was true for Israel, and it’s true for us. Three times the Lord said, “From this day forward … I will bless you” (vv. 15, 18, 19). Though they had failed in the past, and they couldn’t see His blessings at the moment, their blessings were certain. God promised, “I will bless you! I will bless you! I will bless you!”
At Northeastern Baptist College, the certainty of God’s blessing keeps us praying, trusting, and obeying. We pursue our God-given priorities: developing students and sending our graduates with a Scholar’s mind, a Shepherd’s heart, and a Soldier’s perseverance. Though our Lord’s blessings are sometimes disguised and often delayed, by faith we anticipate the delightful day when His certain blessings will be visible.
Please join us in the priority of prayer. This week, lift the FORMING THE FRAMEWORK for the FUTURE requests before the Father.
|Praise the Lord for Who He is.||Ask the Father to lead 100 people to give $100 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to impress 10 people to give $1,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to call 4 people to give $10,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to direct 2 people to give $50,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to motivate 2 people to give $250,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to inspire 1 person to give $1,000,000 above his or her normal gifts.|
|Praise the Lord for All He has done, and All He is going to do.||Ask the Father to call 20 people to give $500 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to motivate 6 people to give $5,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to impress 4 people who will give $25,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to lead 2 people to give $100,000 above their normal gifts.||Ask the Father to enable 1 person to give $500,000 above his or her normal gifts.||Ask the Father to direct 1 obedient, able person to give $2,500,000 above his or her normal gifts.|
With Great Anticipation,
Mark H. Ballard