A faithful man will abound with blessings.
Proverbs 28:20 (ESV)
Along with evident blessings bestowed by God on faithful men and women, there are also disguised blessings—blessings that unexpectedly arrive wrapped in counter-intuitive circumstances.
Over the years I have sincerely prayed, “Lord, give me a hunger for Yourself that will not be satisfied by any other thing.” Then, I promptly forgot what I prayed when I bumped into circumstances that drained me and turned me inward and outward—but not upward—in seeking refueling and refreshment. After an agonizing amount of time, I would suddenly remember my prayer and realize my lack of satisfaction was the blessing of answered prayer. Perhaps you can relate to my modern day version of the disguised blessings found in the Beatitudes.
I am blessed when I reach the end of my rope—because then I will clearly recognize God’s intervention. (Matthew 5:3)
I am blessed when I feel I’ve lost what is most dear to me—because then I am promised I will be showered with God’s tender mercy and infinite comfort. (Matthew 5:4)
I am blessed when my will is broken—because then my strength is available for God to use for His purposes and glory. (Matthew 5:5)
I am blessed when I work up a good appetite for God—because then I will passionately seek His things first. (Matthew 5:6)
I am blessed when I selflessly care for others—because then God becomes the Great Equalizer and repays me beyond measure. (Matthew 5:7)
I am blessed when my mind and heart are in sync to honor God—because then I am unmixed in my intention to remain pure before Him. (Matthew 5:8)
I am blessed when I show others how to cooperate instead of competing or fighting—because then I am standing in for God and embracing my place in His family. (Matthew 5:9)
I am blessed when my commitment to God provokes persecution—because then I am driven deeper into understanding God’s mind and heart. And not only that—I am a tool for God to use to redeem others by revealing a painful recognition of sin. (Matthew 5:10-12)