The Paradox of Blessing and Tribulation

While we often misinterpret tribulation, I believe we do the same with blessing. Blessing comes to us starting out as good, because it comes from Father. But, throughout Scripture, people who were blessed often fell. It happened over and over, until in Luke 18, Jesus declared how hard it was for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. The disciples couldn’t believe their ears when Jesus said that. Think about it. The people who have received God’s blessing have the hardest time entering into the kingdom! King Saul was blessed when he was anointed king over Israel. It was God who made him king. Nevertheless, in the midst of all that blessing, he fell to the extent that God had to remove him. David fell into sin with Bathsheba, not when he was in tribulation, but when he was at the height of his power—rich and secure in his palace. Solomon, the wisest and richest man who didn’t have an enemy in the world, fell into idolatry at the end of his life. In the decades prior to Assyria’s invasion, Israel experienced great wealth and blessing. Prior to Babylon’s invasion, Judah experienced blessing and even revival under King Josiah.

We have to be missing something here, because God is the one who blesses us for good purposes. So, why do blessings often end up badly? It can’t be Father’s fault, so we must be missing something. That something, I believe, is our worldly meaning given to the blessing. I believe the reason blessing is given is the same as heaven’s purpose in tribulation. Father desires an encounter with us. In difficulty we turn to our heavenly Father for help, but in blessing we need to go to him just as often in thanksgiving and ask for wisdom to manage the blessing in an appropriate manner. Put another way, in tribulation, Father encounters us and produces strength. In blessing us, Father offers partnership to produce intimacy.

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