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A Different Blessing

In different times, we must live in different ways.  This was a recurring thought as I recently taught through the book of Numbers.  Numbers is one of the books that oftentimes gets overlooked by Christians, but it shouldn’t be.  Here’s why.  It’s the 38-year story of God’s people wandering through the desert traveling from Egypt to the Promised Land.  It is a reminder that God leads His people and provides for His people every step of the way.  It’s also the story of God’s call on His people to live for Him through obedience, worship, service, and showing who He is to the watching world.  The journey through the wilderness would test the people and their complaining would try God’s patience.  It taught them and teaches us that different times require the people of God to live in different ways.

As the Israelites set out on their journey.  God sent them out with His blessing.  It was a different blessing than you may expect:

23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:  24 “‘“The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ 27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”  Numbers 6:23-27

God’s different blessing of His people wasn’t to keep them from trouble but to keep them through the trouble.  His blessing was to be gracious to them despite their rebellion and complaining.  His blessing was to give them peace no matter what they were going through and He promised to put His name on them.

This is the same blessing that God offers to believers today.  Just like the people of God relied on the blessing of God in the wilderness, we rely on the promises of God in these “different” days.  Read these promises of Jesus and be encouraged:

  • He promises that in this world we will face troubles and trials of many kids but even so, we can take heart because Jesus has overcome the world.  (John 16:33)
  • He promises that those who believe in Him have been fully forgiven by Him and now live in relationship with Him both today and forever.  (John 3:16)
  • He promises to give us peace that no situation, circumstance, or crisis can take away. (John 14:27)

Many times, people think that it is a stress-free, trouble-free, problem-free life that is the blessed life, but Moses and Jesus tell us something different that is very encouraging.   Even through our stresses, troubles, and problems, we are blessed because God is with us and will keep us by His power.  Even through our struggles, sin, and complaining, God is gracious to us and His face shines upon us.  Even through our worry, anxiety and stress, we are blessed because God gives us peace.

This week, live in the blessing that is living with God even through the difficult seasons in life.  Live in the blessing that knows that God’s grace is real and life-changing.  Live in the blessing of peace that the world can’t take because it was given to you by God!
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