Thursday, August 2, 2012

Would You Rather be Blessed or Strengthened?

“For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” (2 Chron. 16:9 NIV)

Some Bible translations use the word "bless" in this passage, instead of "strengthen" as in the NIV.  We all want God to put his eyes on us to bless us. However, we usually interpret that to mean that God will get us out of our tough time: out bills paid, our relationships healed, our sicknesses removed. This passage in Chronicles, within its context of the story of King Asa, reminds us that sometimes God's promise of blessings is only a promise to give us strength to endure a trial, not a promise to get us out of the trial in the way we would like him to. Look what happened to the Prophet Hanani in this very story!

Michael Patton has a good commentary on this verse here. Read it.......if you dare!

I must choose to accept that sometimes I am blessed by strength to endure and by his presence with me in the pain, and not by removal of my problems. I wish it was always otherwise, but both Bible and experience say that this is often the way he does things. And.....It really is enough!