Tag Archives: blessed

Looking For Blessings

A couple of months ago I saw a Toyota Tundra for sale that got my attention. I had never been in the market for one, but this particular one made me want one. I did a little research on them and then suddenly I started noticing Tundras everywhere. Everywhere. It’s not uncommon for your brain to do this to you. It’s called the Baader-Meinhof effect. Once your brain learns something new or becomes interested in something, it subconsciously creates selective attention. You begin noticing the thing that was there all along, but now your brain is looking for it, and you then start agreeing with your brain that you’re seeing it more which perpetuates the process.

Life can be tough sometimes. Bad things happen and problems compound. In those times, the Baader-Meinhof effect can cause your brain to point out all the bad things happening around you. It can seriously bring you low. Knowing that this phenomenon exists, you can actually turn it around. Think of the blessings God has given you despite your current circumstances. If you start looking for them when everything starts to fall apart, your subconscious brain will begin to search for them and change your focus. When we focus on God’s blessings in our lives instead of our present troubles, we renew our strength, keep God in focus and maintain a good attitude. What blessings are in your life right now?

Here are some Bible verses on God’s blessings.

1. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head.

Psalms 139:5 NLT

2. I said to myself, “Relax and rest. GOD has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.”

Psalm 116:7-8 MSG

3. Blessing after blessing comes to those who love and trust the Lord. They will not fall away, for they refuse to listen to the lies of the proud.

Psalms 40:4 TPT

4. Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.

John 1:16 GNT

5. For to everyone who has [and values his blessings and gifts from God, and has used them wisely], more will be given, and [he will be richly supplied so that] he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have [because he has ignored or disregarded his blessings and gifts from God], even what he does have will be taken away.

Matthew 25:29 AMP

Photo by Katerina Kerdi on Unsplash

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The Secret To Happiness

All along my commute to and from work are billboards for neighborhoods. They have slogans like, “The life you deserve”, “Life’s better up here”, “The life you’ve always wanted” and “Life more than you’ve imagined.” All are for different neighborhoods, but their message is clear. They understand that we all want something more. Something better. They know that we are rarely happy with what we have because there is always something better on the horizon.

It’s not wrong to want something better than you have right now. It’s not wrong to work harder to provide a better life for your family than you had when you were growing up. We have to be careful though in thinking that our possessions bring us happiness or that more money will bring more contentment. It’s ok to have things as long as the things don’t have you. Our money, possessions or where we live are not meant to define us. Our identity should be found in God.

In the “Sermon on the Mount” found in Matthew 5, Jesus gave us the Beatitudes. Verse five says, “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.” Jesus knew we would get caught up in the “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. He knew that we would be tempted to forget that all we have is from Him.

He also knew that we would think that possessions would bring us happiness. I like the way that the Amplified version defines “blessed” in verse 5. It says, “Happy, blithesome, joyous, spiritually prosperous with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation regardless of their outward conditions.” When we learn to be content with who He made us to be and with the things He’s entrusted to us, we will receive all those things. We won’t have to rely on a neighborhood, car, job title or anything else to bring us happiness. We won’t have to keep up with the Joneses to define our worth.

In fact, Jesus said that regardless of our outward conditions we will find happiness and joy once we learn to be content. Paul said in Philippians 4:11 that he learned how to be content with whatever he had whether a little or a lot. God wants us to recognize that what we have is from Him so we need to learn to be content. We still need to work hard and be faithful with what He’s given us. When we show Him we can do that, it opens the door for Him to give us more. If you’re looking for happiness today, don’t look to your possessions, look to God and be content with who you are.

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Seeing Isn’t Believing

Yesterday we celebrated Easter. To me it’s the most important day in Christianity. If Jesus had not died and resurrected, His birth would have been pointless. Even His death was not enough. His resurrection not only showed He had paid for our sins, it proved He had power to do so. It was in the resurrection that victory was won. We don’t have to live defeated lives. We have a victorious savior who fights for us.

I can imagine that Sunday morning in Jerusalem. Since Friday evening at sunset, they had not been able to do anything about Jesus’ death. They had all day Saturday to sit and wonder about what just happened. They were in shock. A week before, Jesus had triumphantly entered Jerusalem. Surely He was about to set up His earthly kingdom and overthrow Rome. His death was a pill they couldn’t swallow.

They had barely enough time to get Him into the tomb on Friday before the Sabbath began. They needed to embalm Him better and find a more long term solution for His grave. This tomb was simply borrowed in order to house Him until other arrangements could be made. So Mary Magdalene and some others went as dawn was breaking in order to get an early start. They were unprepared for what they found.

The stone had been rolled away and the tomb was empty. She ran back, woke the others up and told them. They ran to the tomb expectantly. When they saw the empty tomb, they remembered what they had read in the scriptures and what Jesus had told them. They went away believing, but Mary stuck around. She was distraught. With tears coming down her face, she looked in the tomb again.

Two angels were sitting where Jesus had been laid. They asked her why she was crying and she told them. She then turned around and walked out of the tomb into the garden. She saw someone else who asked her why she was crying. She said, “Sir, if you have taken Him away, please tell me where you have put Him and I will go and get Him.” Then she heard, “Mary!” It was Jesus who was talking to her. She then recognized Him, grabbed Him and hugged him tightly.

I started thinking, “How many times does God show up in our lives and we don’t recognize Him? How often are we seeking Him or His will when He is right there in front of us?” We search for Him and think we know what we’re going to find, but we aren’t really looking. Mary had allowed her mind to cloud her vision. She couldn’t see the Savior standing there in front of her because her mind wasn’t open to it. The disciples didn’t see Him when they went looking, but they believed anyway. They found their answer in the empty tomb.

What are you looking for? What are you believing God to do? Are you allowing your mind to control what your faith sees? Or are you like the disciples who didn’t see what they were looking for, but believed anyway? Jesus said it best in John 20:29. He said, “Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.” We don’t have to have that face to face meeting like Mary did in order to believe. The truth is that many of us have had that experience and didn’t recognize Him. Trust God today to bring you the victory even when you can’t see Him.

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