January 10, 2013

“…For the Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He knows your going through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.” Deut. 22:7

English: New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton ...Sean Payton signed a five-year contract extension yesterday to be the head coach of the New Orleans Saints through 2017.  The Saints general manager said, “Sean has been a critical part of our success, getting him signed to a long-term deal is very important to our organization.”  That makes a lot of sense to me – it confirms what I know about how my world works.  If you do well, you will receive rewards.

We saw the opposite side of this principle at work on December 31 – black Monday.  That is when seven NFL teams fired their head coaches.  These teams had decided that their head coach had played a critical role in their organization, only it was not a critical role in their success.  It was a critical role in the team’s failure.  I understand these actions also.  Whether I agree with them or not, I understand that an organization will take actions to start getting the results that they want.  It confirms my understanding of my world – if you do badly, you will not get rewarded and often you will be punished.

All of these types of experiences have fed into a world view that is difficult for me to overcome.  I struggle with associating blessing with good things and no blessing with bad things. It is not a good default to have.

I am blessed with an incredible spouse.

Does that mean I am not “blessed” if my wife were to be lame?

I am blessed to have a great job.

Does that mean I am not “blessed” if I lost my job?

I am blessed to be healthy.

Does that mean I was not “blessed” when I got cancer?

No! God’s blessings are not based on the good things. All good things are gifts from God, but just because we don’t have one or more of those good things doesn’t mean that God loves us less or has un-blessed us. God was still blessing the Israelites even while they were wandering in the wilderness. He had a greater purpose for keeping them in that wilderness but he was still providing for all of their needs. He was still blessing them even while He was punishing them.

It was just in a manner that they may have had to look harder to see. The blessings of “good things” during “good times” are easy to see and understand. The blessings during “wilderness times” are much harder to see and appreciate.  It is very easy to see the things that aren’t the way we want them and feel abandoned by God.

It shouldn’t surprise any of us that God doesn’t work the way this world works.  Our world-view of associating “good times” to our successes and “bad times” to our failures is not how God does it.  God isn’t any closer to us when we are being “successful” in our faith.  Likewise, God hasn’t gone anywhere when we stumble. God’s blessings and His faithfulness are still there when things aren’t the way we thought they would be. God’s blessings are still all over me even when God is disciplining me.

It is in those times when we don’t feel “blessed” that we need to look closer to see how faithful God is actually being to us..

PRAYER: Lord, thank you for being such a good Father to me.  Lord, thank you for continuing to show blessing to me even while you might be disciplining me or pruning me or using my discomfort for your greater purpose.  Thank you for never leaving me or forsaking me.  Lord, keep me from being discouraged when I don’t feel your blessings.  Teach me to cling to your promises and truths.  Help me look beyond my feelings to the reality of what you are actually doing in my life.  Amen


  1. A sentence from your prayer caught my attention: “Thank you for continuing to show blessing to me even while you might be disciplining me or pruning me or using my discomfort for your greater purpose.” How incredible to think that even as God disciplines, he continues to bless! What a gracious, loving Heavenly Father!Thank you for the insight.

    Thank you also for stopping by my blog, http://www.nancyaruegg.com, From the Inside Out. I’m glad you found “God’s Rebuttal” to be meaningful.

  2. Thank you for your God centered perspective.

  3. I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award. -Lori

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