Do You Deserve to Be Blessed?
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Many Christians think that if something good happens to them, it’s because God is rewarding them for being obedient. On the flip side, if something bad happens to them, they think that God is punishing them for some sin in their life. We all know people who have received good things they didn’t deserve, as well as others who have received bad things they didn’t deserve.
Consider Jesus’ words about our heavenly Father who “makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45). Frequently Christians read verses regarding blessings and curses in the Old Testament that were meant for the nation of Israel and attempt to apply these promises to their lives today. The agreement God made with Moses on Mount Sinai (also called the Mosaic covenant or the old covenant; see Gal. 4:24) was conditional, with different outcomes based upon the people’s obedience to its terms.
The Mosaic covenant (or old covenant) is no longer active today because Jesus fulfilled all its conditions on behalf of every believer (Rom. 10:4). This agreement made on Mount Sinai has been replaced by God’s new covenant based upon Christ’s completed work (Jer. 31:31). The law is still a guide for Christians on how to live uprightly, but Christians are righteous before God in Christ alone—not because of their own works.
Actions do have consequences in this world. If people are mean, they won’t have many friends. If plants aren't watered, they will die. On the other hand, a person who is driving safely might be hit and killed by a drunk driver. Cancer may strike a little child for no known reason. Both believers and unbelievers experience sorrows and joys in this fallen world.
Christians also face persecution for their faith, which can make life much harder for God’s people. We need to remember Jesus’ comforting words when facing any of life’s struggles:
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Believers can and should always rejoice in the Lord regardless of life’s trials because these sufferings do not have the last say. God does, and his plan for his children is glorious.
Digging deeper: If you would like to learn more about the eight significant covenants in the Bible, check out Sacred Bond: Covenant Theology Explored (Second Edition) by Michael G. Brown and Zach Keele.
Le Ann Trees is managing editor of Beautiful Christian Life.