The Strength of the Blessed

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion” (Psalm 84:5-7).

Blessed…

Go from strength to strength…

I like it. I want it.

How does one make this a reality?

The strength of the blessed is not in them. The strength of the blessed is in the LORD. The LORD is the source of their strength.

Because of the LORD, the blessed understand something that no one else on planet earth understand: This world is not our home. The blessed know that they are on pilgrimage; that what they are currently experiencing in life is not permanent. Blessed know that we are merely passing through.

Therefore, no matter what happens in life, the blessed go from strength to strength because the LORD is their strength.

Look at what happens to the world around the the blessed: “As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs.”

  • Baka means weeping in Hebrew
  • The Valley of Baka refers to a sorrowful and difficult time in life

Even when the blessed go through a season of sorrow and difficulty, they make life better for all those around. They bring life to all those who are weeping. The blessed become inspirations of strength to those who are weary.

That is the role of the church. You, the church, are blessed. You are blessed because the LORD is your strength. You are blessed because you know that we are pilgrims; we are passing through this life. God is our destiny. Zion is our home.

Blessed, be a blessing to the people around you today. Be the reason why people place their hope in the LORD.

The LORD’s Kindness and Favor

“But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did” (Genesis 39:20-23).

  • The LORD was with him…
  • The LORD showed him kindness and granted him favor…
  • The LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did…

That’s exactly what we would want. Right? What a life. The presence of the LORD. The kindness and favor of the LORD. The LORD giving us success in whatever we do.

That’s what God’s blessing looks like. That’s exactly the way we would draw this up.

Right?

But look at where all this is taking place.

“But while Joseph was in prison…” Not only was Joseph in prison, he was wrongly put in prison. He was framed. He did nothing wrong. Yet, he was still in prison. And he would still be in prison for years before he would be set free.

How does being wrong imprisoned for years and God’s blessing work out? How is that blessing?

Joseph’s time would come. But there were still lessons for Joseph to learn while in prison, still some chiseling of honing of character. Eventually Joseph would be set free and become the second in command only to the Pharaoh in the land of Egypt. But not yet.

The truth is, even in the most horrendous situations we can still be living in God’s blessing.

You find yourself going through a difficult time, remember Joseph. God’s still blessing you with his kindness and favor. You are not alone. You are right where God wants you to be. God is shaping and forming you for a great work.

The main question that we ought to be asking when going through a difficult time is not, “Why is this happening to me?” but “How can I glorify God in this?”

God is always with you. God’s favor and kindness is always with you. Open your eyes to see God in the place you find yourself. As you seek his glory, you will discover God’s favor and grace.

Plan for Success

“Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Everyone wants to be successful. Everyone wants to be healthy. Every Christian wants to grow and mature in their faith.

That’s fantastic! It’s good that this is what everyone desires. Imagine a world where everyone lived into these wants and made them realities.

If everyone wants these things, why are so few actually succeeding? What are the biggest factors that differentiates those who succeed and the rest of us? Two things: Priorities and Discipline.

Seek first.

First, has to do with priorities. Those who succeed choose what is best over what they want now.

Seek first. Pursue what is best with every ounce of your being. There will be plenty of times when you won’t want to be disciplined, to work out, to study, to practice. There will be plenty of times when you will want to cheat on your diet, your character, your promises.

Seek first. Choose what is best over what you want now.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. The second quality of those who succeed is discipline. Successful people do consistently what others do occasionally. This has to do with discipline. Now only do they know what is best, but they have the discipline to do consistently what others do occasionally. Key is consistency. Key is discipline.

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. And when we do, all these things will be given to us as well.

  1. Choose what is best over what you want now – priority
  2. Do consistently what others do occasionally – discipline