Jen’s Gem: One act of faith releases a thousand blessings.
When I think back on my best subjects in school, math comes to my mind first. Sure, I was a great speller and enjoyed writing stories, but math was where I excelled. Until…geometry. After enjoying a good run of A’s, I was brought down a peg with an eight letter word – “theorems.”
Despite my genius of a brother doing his utmost to help me understand how to “prove” these pesky problems, I just didn’t get it. Oh, it made perfect sense when he did them with me, but on my own? Nope – my eyes glazed over and panic set in. Somehow I squeaked through the course with a (oh horrors!) grade of C and I clearly remember the score on the state test. Let’s just say it’s not worth repeating.
I was once again met with a failing grade on my first math test in college. A big fat “F” stared at me only weeks after freshman year began. In tears, I called my parents and told them I was too stupid for college and they needed to come and get me. Needless to say, my parents did not oblige.
Turns out my parents did the right thing. Not only did I pass that first math course, I went on to take others like calculus, statistics, and quantitative methods that today would boggle my mind. When I see my daughter fearlessly whizzing through these classes with ease, I can see that the math gene made its way to her in triplicate.
I’ve just finished reading the book of Joshua in the Old Testament. Talk about someone who is fearless! While this warrior did not have to solve algebraic equations, his feats are nothing to sneeze at.
If you’re not familiar with Joshua, he served under Moses as the Israelites made their way to the Promised Land. Joshua did more than serve however. He faithfully served. He obeyed every single directive Moses gave him. While there are many stories of courageous heroes in the Bible, Joshua stands out to me the most.
He knew that Moses was being led by God and he was well aware of the victories this group of people had experienced when they did as God commanded. He understood the answer to a simple math problem:
Faith in God plus Courage equals Blessings.
That seems pretty simple, yes? But look at that word, “Blessings.” Notice it’s plural. Hmm, something seems amiss. You’d think it should be “blessing.” If I have faith in God and courageously step out into it, I will receive a blessing. That seems logical, however, this is not how it works.
God doesn’t reward our faith with just one blessing. He rewards us with a b-zillion blessings. God doesn’t want to add. He wants to multiply! Let’s take a look at an example or two:
- Five loaves and two fish fed 5000 people. See Matthew 14:13-21
- Six stone jars of water provided wine to an entire wedding party. See John 2:1-11
- One man’s (Jesus) death and resurrection changed millions of lives. See Luke: 24
As I continue to study God’s Word, I see over and over and over how with a few simple “inputs” from us, God blesses us with more “outputs” than we can imagine. The apostle Paul said it best in Ephesians 3:20-21, when he said:
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Look at that first sentence. Paul didn’t say God is able to do one thing above all that we ask. He didn’t even say two things. He said God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly.”
Paul did not say God would bless one person, or even two. He said “all.” Paul did not mean the “all” generation that lived in Jesus’ time, but all generations forever and ever. That means you and me!
Many people think the Bible is outdated or that it applies only to the people who lived thousands of years ago. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This book is for us, for everyone. These blessings were not just for Moses and the Israelites or the twelve apostles. They are for us.
How do you get them? Simple. Just remember this simple equation:
Faith in God plus Courage equals Blessings.
This “new math” is what I had to learn. It was hard for me to have faith in a God I didn’t know or understand. The God I knew and was taught was a “rule” God, not a “relationship” God. Until I began to study His Word, which clearly lays out exactly who God is, I had no idea about who I was nor what I was entitled to because of my faith.
But when I read page after page of how this simple math equation worked for others and learned that what God did for them, He will do for me, that’s when it began to sink in. That’s when I “got it.”
This week, I’d like to encourage you to read about the miracles of Jesus (click here.) See firsthand how He blessed so many people who believed in Him. These same miracles – or better – are available to you.
You just gotta do the math.