Tuesday, November 20

God's Abundant Blessings

God can pour on the blessings in astonishing ways. 2 Corinthians 9:9 (MSG)
Many people are experiencing financial difficulties in this current economy. Many have lost their homes and many families have been forced to live in shelters. Desperate times produce desperate people with no hope. I receive numerous emails weekly asking for prayer regarding financial struggles and what appears to the flesh to be hopeless situations.

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed quite hopeless? Have you ever been in a place of desperation?

I find the following information devastating:

1. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the six million who will not survive this week.

2. If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

3. If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

4. If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

5. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the worlds wealthy.

2 Kings 4 tells the story of a woman in a very difficult situation, but God offered a solution for her. He did a miracle through a prophet. God had a plan even in a hopeless situation. Even when there seemed to be absolutely no answer He offered a solution. God poured blessings upon this woman and her sons and He is still doing that for you and I today.

The scripture tells us that the wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves."

Elisha was concerned for this poor woman and asked her what he could do to help. Her situation seemed hopeless until she saw Prophet Elisha. She cried out to him, not because she believed Elisha could give her money because prophets were not rich. But in her times, prophets were spokesmen for God. Her late husband was a prophet, so she wanted to seek God’s help. She wanted to ask God for answers to her problem.

Elisha looked at her and said, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house.” God had a plan and He revealed it to Elisha. Elisha convinced the woman to examine her own resources. He asked her what she had in her house.

God creates something out of nothing. He brings hope to the hopeless. He blesses beyond measure.

When Elisha asked the woman what she had she told him nothing but a little oil. Elisha instructed her to go to the neighbors and collect empty jars. And he told her not to ask for a few.

The passage tells us that the woman left Elisha, shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring.

The woman and her sons collected jars from their neighbors, pouring oil into them from their one pot. The oil was probably olive oil and was used for cooking, for lamps, and for fuel. The oil stopped pouring only when they ran out of containers. The number of jars they gathered was an indication of their faith. God’s provision was as large as their faith and willingness to obey. Beware of limiting God’s blessings by a lack of faith and obedience. The woman had faith that God had a plan. She just had a little oil in a small jar, and God used it to solve her big problem.

Look how God blessed them. The woman and her sons trusted God and He helped them, not only to pay the debts but more.

Years ago, in a former pastorate, our finances were very limited. Some weeks we only had a few dollars after paying our bills. Our children were both in high school and we learned quickly how to be very frugal with our income. I remember one week in particular when we had $5 after we paid our bills. I prayed continuously that week asking God to please help us. As I walked to the mail box one afternoon I discovered a card from a dear friend and a check for $100. I wept as I walked back to the parsonage, ashamed of myself that I had doubted God’s provision for our family.

God has blessed our ministry beyond measure over the years. He always shows up in the midst of the storm. Even when life just does not make sense God brings hope. His blessings are abundant and amazing.

If you are in a mess today, feeling hopeless and helpless, know that our mighty God has a plan. Blessings are missed because we fail to put God’s purpose, priorities and plans first.  God's love is amazing and He is always faithful.

May God's abundant blessings continue to overflow in your life.

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