God made us alive together with Christ and raised us up with him in the heavenly places that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us. Ephesians 2:5-7
As Christians, we are the recipients of God's tremendous blessing. When we were dead in our sin, Paul told the church at Ephesus, God made us alive, raised us up and placed us with him in a heavenly position. Why? Why should God be so generous with us? God has done this, Ephesians 2 tells us, `in order that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace toward us'. God is blessing us now so he can bless us more later: God is in the business of blessing. He wants to bless us.
God has arranged the universe to make his blessing available to us. Having saved us, he has `given us everything we need for life and godliness'. He has also prepared for us good works to be done, for it is in doing good that we experience his blessing. Finally, he has set before us, as Moses explained to Israel, life and prosperity. The abundance of God's kindness is available and is accessible to us.
How, then, shall we make God's blessing ours? Moses and Joshua were each instructed to live according to God's word. It is in obedience to God that we reap his blessing. Yet it is not in our own strength that we obey, for having been crucified with Christ, it is now Christ who lives in us. Obedient to his word, we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Interestingly, however, God's blessings often come to us in disguise. Even the `trials of many kind' and the `painful trial' or `fiery ordeal' referred to by New Testament writers will lead to deepened faith and a revelation of God's glory. God's blessing will far surpass the difficulties of the present age. Amid the sleep deprivation, pressured circumstances and stressful situations incumbent upon those in the medical profession, God offers a remedy. To the weary, he offers a light yoke. To the workers, he offers the promise of a harvest. We need not succumb to `burnout'. We can take on his yoke and look beyond burnout to blessing.
It is overwhelming to meditate on the vastness of God's kindness to us. He is blessing us now so he can bless us more in the future. Accepting his provision, even through difficult times, we can obediently choose to live his life with his prosperity.
Thank you, Lord, for the graciousness of these words of
assurance: `I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord,
`plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope' (Je 29:11).
Further reading: Eph 2:1-10. 2 Pet 1:3. Dt 30:15-20. Gal 6:9. Mt 11:28-30.