The problem with traveling this road of life is that everything in the rearview mirror is crystal clear, while things up ahead are foggy. We may think we can see our future and know where we are going, but in reality we can’t see a second down the road. Our circumstances and situations can change at a moment’s notice, turning our lives upside down. When 2018 comes to an end this December we will be amazed at the changes which have come into our lives. Even now while we watch 2018 wind down we are either saying, “Wow! What a year!” or “I’ll be glad when this year is behind me. Then I can move on.” There are those who seem to feel stuck in their life situation. Whether their life changes have been physical, financial, social, or emotional they can’t seem to move on today.
I have visited many people at home and in the hospital who have become prisoners of their lives. They are discouraged and without hope, not really living out their lives, simply existing from day to day. Once I heard someone say that she did not want to see any long faces around because she is a blessed person. She knew God’s goodness and often reflected on His blessings toward her. No matter what situation we face as Christians we should all say “No long faces, for I am a blessed person!” Christians have a heavenly Father who loves to bless them and care for them in spite of their life’s situation. Many times Christians look at their situation and think “How can I call myself blessed?” We lock our focus on our life situation and not on our awesome God who loves us. We forget God and His work in and through our lives. We need to daily reflect on God’s goodness and blessings toward us.
The blessings of God upon a Christian’s life stretch all the way back to Abraham. Abraham was a friend of God [James 2:23]. God Himself refers to Abraham as His friend in the Old Testament [Isaiah 41:8]. God chose to make a covenant with Abraham. We can find the details of this covenant in the book of Genesis [Genesis 12:1-3, 22:15-18]. The covenant basically has three parts: God’s covenant promises to Abraham, His covenant promises to Abraham’s family, and God’s covenant promise to all mankind.
To Abraham God promised that he would be blessed, his name would be great, that he would be a blessing, that God would multiply his descendents into a great nation [Genesis 12:2], and that he would possess the land of Canaan [Genesis 15:7]. To Abraham’s descendents God promised that they would become a great nation, that they would take possession of their enemies possessions, that they would be a blessing to mankind [Genesis 22:17-18], and that they would possess the land of Canaan [Genesis 15:18]. To mankind God promised to bless all the nations/families of the earth through Abraham and his descendants [Genesis 12:3b].
Abraham questioned God’s promises, not because he questioned God Himself. Abraham was old and had no progeny [Genesis 15:2]. Childless, he was at a loss as to how the promises might be fulfilled. God responded to Abraham’s questioning heart by forming an official covenant with Abraham. God used a covenant ritual with which Abraham was familiar and would understand [Genesis 15:9-10]. It was a sacrificial ritual in which both parties of the covenant participated. However, God caused Abraham to sleep while He alone participated in the ritual [Genesis 15:12]. Thus God made Himself responsible for fulfilling both sides of the covenantal partnership [Genesis 15:17]. Abraham was left in the position of recipient of the covenantal promises. God would take care of everything. Abraham had to just believe God, which he did [Genesis 15:6].
Now Abraham was greatly blessed by God during his lifetime, and he was a man of great possessions [Genesis 13:6]. Abraham blessed his family [Genesis 25:5-6]. Yet Abraham did not see the promise of a multitude of descendents, nor the possession of the Promised Land. These promises were to take place in the future through his descendents.
Abraham’s descendents did become a great nation as numerous as the sand on the seashore. As long as they trusted and obeyed God their enemies could not stand before them [Exodus 14:13]. God blessed mankind by revealing Himself through the nation Israel [Deuteronomy 4:6-8]. And the descendents of Abraham took possession of the Promised Land [Nehemiah 9:25].
All the families of the earth have been blessed through the knowledge of God found in creation [Romans 1:18-20], and through Abraham’s descendents [Deuteronomy 4:6-8]. We have the benefit of knowing about God not only through creation, but personally through His working in the lives of the descendents of Abraham. The height of God’s revelation of Himself is Jesus the Christ [Hebrews 1:1-2]. He was God’s Messiah, the Savior of the world [1 John 4:14]. God through Jesus was reconciling a world lost in sin and disobedience to Himself [2 Corinthians 5:18-19].
Through faith in God’s Son the peoples of the earth are blessed to be reconciled with God [Ephesians 2:8]. It’s through faith that we are called the children of God [John 1:12]. By faith we have an eternal inheritance [1 Peter 1:3-4]. Our faith brings the present provisions from God [Matthew 6:25-34]. Just as Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness [Genesis 15:6], so our faith is the vehicle through which God does the impossible [Luke 18:27] and is pleased [Hebrews 11:6].
Through faith in God’s Son, Jesus, I am blessed by having been reconciled with God, becoming a child of God, and an heir in an eternal kingdom. I have a heavenly Father who cares and provides for me. Through faith in God’s Son, Jesus, I am a benefactor of the Abrahamic Covenant. I am a recipient of God’s blessings through believing and it is counted to me as righteousness as it was with Abraham. I am a part of God’s fulfillment of prophecy. This thought makes me view God’s prophecies in a whole new, more personal light. I am a part of prophetic history.
If you, too, have turned from your sins to God through faith in Jesus the Christ, then you also are a part of prophetic history. You are a benefactor of the Abrahamic Covenant. You are greatly blessed by God!
Hugh Folds, Minister of Education and Youth SPBC