We typically pray for blessings in terms of material prosperity or personal comfort. The Bible never promises such things or a life without problems. The disciples’ devotion did not prevent a martyr’s death for believing Jesus was who He claimed to be. Christians are persecuted all over the world. In fact that was a promise God did make to those devoted to Him. (2 Tim 3:12) God also promises His presence and comfort during suffering and that one day there will be no more suffering. Death can take our bodies but not our souls.
The truth is supernatural blessings in the way we mostly think about them don’t last. Enjoy your toys while on earth because you aren’t taking them with you. Natural blessings last. When you treat others with kindness, you have friends for life. We can even take them with us after death. Those who don’t gossip are trusted by others. We know they always have our back instead of always talking behind our back. Speaking honestly leads to genuine respect from others. A person who tells the truth does not fear being caught. A righteous person can be remembered for generations and for eternity because of their positive influence. The wicked will die with nothing. You reap what you sow!
Blessings flow naturally when we follow Jesus’ teachings in our relationships with others. God’s ways lead to blessings you don’t have to pray for. God promises us real joy if we seek His wisdom. Be slow to anger. Imagine all the regrets we save in life because of how we treat others if consistently slow to anger. Be self- controlled. Imagine all the pain we spare spouses and children due to sexual purity if we control where our eyes wander.
God desires we become more like Christ for our own good. If we spend time with God, He will rub off on us. When we come to understand how much God loves us, we naturally want to return that love in return. It is just how relationships work. Older kids often rebel less or at least not as long based on the depth of their relationship with their parents. It is not really a matter of trying harder to please God. It is just hanging out with God and the transformations flow. I am such a different man with God than without. God is not a selfish lover. He always encourages us to follow Him for that will lead to our happiness and the happiness of others we come in contact with.
It is okay to pray for supernatural blessings, but accept God’s answer. It is not easy overseeing a free world! God cannot always interfere in our suffering or that just would make a mockery out of freedom. Why should God interfere with your undeserved suffering and not everyone’s suffering? Fewer miracles may be necessary to change more of the world by its own volition. Suffering can serve as a megaphone to distract us from our own selfishness. Also, witnessing miracles in the lives of others only turns heads not hearts. Did Martin Luther King have to suffer to move the scales from the eyes of many how they tolerated bigotry? Personal tragedies can make us more sensitive to others. Suffering can serve as a megaphone to enable us to better serve others
What really will make this world a better place? Seek God’s wisdom and help in all you do. “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” [Gal 5:19-23]