Blessed…Thank You Lord

Recently I read a little book titled, “The Prayer of Jabaz” written by Bruce Wilkinson. The story of Jabaz is found in the Old Testament of the Bible in 1Chronicles. it is recorded that his life changed dramatically when he prayed this prayer.

“Oh that you would bless me indeed and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.”

I cannot recall that in the past, I ever said the words “Bless me Lord”. It just never occurred to me. But after reading this little book, now, each day I ask the Lord to bless me in any way that he delights in doing. It was a new experience, hard at first because it seemed to be self-serving. But after a few days it became easier. As I read the Scriptures it is obvious that the Lord delights in blessing His people. Proverbs 10:22 states: “The Lord’s blessing is our greatest wealth….”

I want to remember to always thank God for the many blessings He has given me. Often times, those blessings have been in disguise. I didn’t see them as blessings at first, I saw them as negatives, causing me distress. But I learned that God used those events for His purpose in my life.

During a time of grief He led me to His Word and blessed me with salvation. When I tried to overcome my personal hang-ups by reading numerous self-help books, and by participating in discussion groups, sensitivity training, etc., He patiently waited until I was ready to give up on self improvement tactics, then He blessed me by showing me that only He could change me by the power of His Holy Spirit. Through months of facing trials in the mission fields of Africa and Haiti, He blessed me with lessons in endurance and patience that strengthened me. Every time that I experienced events that were hard to bear, God used those trials to bring good to me. I learned to depend on Him in all my circumstances and my faith has grown deeper.

Presently, due to the covid-19 virus, I find myself like many others, forced to be somewhat confined in my home, not participating in the activities that were deemed necessary or enjoyable. Many persons have suffered the loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of businesses, face financial insecurity, and we all have lost personal independence. These are hardships that can wreak havoc in personal lives and also on our country. The Church has also lost the pleasure of meeting together in corporate worship services.

Could it be that the Lord will use this virus to bring about much needed change to the body of Christ and to the world? Could it be that he will ultimately bring good out of this disaster? I believe the answer to that question is definitely “yes”. I can’t say how He will do it, but I believe that He will, for “His ways are far above our ways, and His thoughts far above our thoughts”.

In the midst of this pandemic I see the Church reaching out in stronger efforts to minister to those in need. God has blessed the Church with generosity through the love of Jesus. I see her spreading the Gospel throughout the world in a greater capacity through the on line broadcasting of the worship services. More people are hearing the truth of Christ that ever before.

The shutdown has given me more time to reflect and consider what God has done to bless me throughout my life, and thank Him for those blessings. More time to be aware of His Presence, knowing that He is always here, loving me, protecting me, giving me hope. Proving that He is the Holy One that has blessed me with life and by His grace has given me the blessing of eternal life with Him.

When I consider His infinite Presence, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. What more could I ask for? The things that really matter I find in His Presence. The blessing of His Presence sustains me.

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