Have you ever looked at others’ lives and wondered why they have the blessings they do, when you don’t?
I sure have!
It’s a human trait that goes way back — all the way to Adam and Eve. The temptation that convinced Eve to eat from the tree God had forbidden them to eat from was based on the desire to have what God has: the knowledge of good and evil. Eve was jealous of God! If He could have it, why couldn’t she? Her attempt to even the score, however, led to grave consequences.
Years later the sons of Isaac had similar struggles, each wanting what the other had.
Esau, the older brother, came home one day from a hunting trip to the wonderful aroma of his brother Jacob’s lentil stew. Esau was starving, or at least thought he was.
“Give me some of your stew,“ Esau said to Jacob, “I’m exhausted and starving!”
“Okay,” Jacob replied, “but only if you trade me your firstborn rights.”
“What good is a birthright if I die of starvation? ” Esau responded. And so he swore an oath to Jacob, relinquishing his inheritance to his younger brother in exchange for a bowl of lentil stew!
Many years later when their father Isaac was blind and close to death, Jacob claimed the firstborn rights by tricking his father into blessing him instead of Esau.
The bowl of stew long forgotten, Esau was enraged and distraught when he found out. “Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!” he cried bitterly!
But it was done. Jacob had received the blessing and inheritance intended for him.
How often do we cry the same thing as we look around at others’ lives? “What about me, God? Have you forgotten me? Did you give my blessing to someone else? Bless me, too!” Lonely nights may cause us to look at the companionship others might have, while they look at the freedom we have, each of us thinking we are the deprived one. “God, have you forgotten me? Bless me with what my friend has!” we all beg in our prayers.
The truth is that God has blessed every one of us, in more abundant ways than we often realize. Adopted into His family, each one of us is blessed and receives the firstborn inheritance — rights bought for us by the blood of His firstborn, Jesus. The first chapter of Ephesians lists many of the blessings of this inheritance:
- Every spiritual blessing in the heavens
- Redemption through Jesus’ blood
- Forgiveness for all our sins
- His grace lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding
- Revelation of His will
- The infilling of the Holy Spirit Who is the down payment of our inheritance
We so often fail to realize the significance of these blessings, and of our inheritance as God’s firstborn. Bogged down with the worries of life, focused on what we don’t have in this earthly existence, we cry bitterly as Esau did. Unlike Esau, however, God has already blessed us, with more to come! No one has stolen our birthright, nor have we sold it for a simple bowl of lentil stew!
The second chapter of Ephesians goes on to describe more of how God is blessing us:
“God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace! Together with Christ Jesus He also raised us up and seated us in the heavens, so that in the coming ages He might display the immeasurable riches of His grace through His kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
One of the greatest earthly blessings God has given us is the gift of purpose — the good works He planned long ago for us to do. It is on the path of living our purpose that we find the happiness and fulfillment that are God’s amazing gifts to us, completely independent of our lives being like anyone else’s.
So instead of crying bitterly for God to bless you like He has blessed someone else, praise Him for His blessings to you, and ask Him to show you His plan and purpose for you. As you live it out, not only will you receive blessing upon blessing, but many others will be blessed through you!
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