God Blesses Us

Bible Book: Deuteronomy  23 : 5
Subject: Trouble, Blessings from; Hardship; Trials

A little boy prayed, “Dear Lord, If you could just find some way to put all those vitamins in candy instead of spinach, I’d sure appreciate it! Well, God may not do that, but He can change negatives into positives. The Bible says, “God . . .turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the Lord your God loves you. ” (Deut. 23:5).

One of the certainties in life is that bad things happen. The Psalmist said, “We face death all day long . . .” (Psa. 44:22)

Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble . . .” (John 16:33).

But Moses makes the astonishing statement that God can even turn curses into blessings. Aldous Huxley said, “Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”

Two young boys were raised in the home of an alcoholic father. Years later, a psychologist who was analyzing what drunkenness does to children interviewed these two men. One was a hopeless alcoholic. The other was a teetotaler and a great humanitarian. The counselor asked the first man, “Why did you become an alcoholic?” Then, he asked the second man, “Why did you become a teetotaler?” They both gave the same identical answer in these words, “What else could you expect when you had a father like mine?”

You see, each human being has the possibility of deciding how he will react. A French Museum displays an ordinary shoemaker’s awl. That little awl represents both tragedy and triumph. It fell one day from the shelf and put out the eye of a shoe-makers nine-year-old son. Soon the child was blind in both eyes. But, that boy later devised a reading system of punched dots on paper. To do it, Louis Braille used the very same awl that had blinded him.

Tragedy touches all of us, but we can choose how it affects us.

In India, during World War I, a British officer observed some skilled rug-weavers. Finally he asked, “What happens if the weaver makes a mistake?” His guide answered, “If he is a great enough artist, he will weave the mistake into the pattern.”

God can do that. He can take even our blunders and weave them into a successful pattern of life. That’s what Paul meant when he said, “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

So, how does God bring good from evil?

I. First God Blesses Us In Our Failures.

He helps us learn lessons from our mistakes. The Psalmist said, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees” (Psa. 119:71).

We learn more from our failures than we do from our successes.

Some people never mature until they experience personal problems. Many develop discipline after their bankruptcy. Many develop tolerance after a painful divorce. Many develop compassion after a serious illness.

We’ve all heard about the obnoxious insects called Boll Weevils. They can wipe out a cotton crop in weeks. That’s why visitors to Enterprise, Alabama are often astounded to see a statue of a woman holding a huge boll weevil. Residents explain that a hundred years ago, boll weevils devastated the cotton crops.

Disaster threatened the whole region. But instead of despairing, Enterprise lived up to its name. Farmers began planting other crops and town officials brought in new industries. Therefore, when prosperity returned, Enterprise gave credit where it felt credit was due: to the boll weevil!

Liabilities can become assets. John Havilcek, Boston Celtic basketball great said, “My folks couldn’t afford to buy me a bicycle and I felt cheated. As a child and teenager, I ran everywhere —to school, to deliver groceries, to basketball practice. It was only later that I realized how all that running had helped to develop my legs and my stamina.”

Once a man, having a key made, noticed a display labeled: “Play Keys For Children, $1.00 Per Set.”

When he asked the clerk about it, she smiled and said, “You know, I used to throw away all the keys I damaged. Then, one day, I saw a mother hand her keys to her baby to play with, and, this idea came to me for putting my mistakes to good use. Now I make a nice profit from these goofs.”

God can help us put our mistakes to good use. He can help us salvage our goofs so nothing is wasted.

We can learn lessons from our failures.

II. God Blesses Us In Our Adversities.

He helps us develop character from our pain and suffering. Paul said, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance” (Rom. 5:3-4).

He is saying that the pain of adversity can lead to greater attributes. We may not be able to see the way our suffering is being used, but faith can transform our suffering into something productive. Nydia, the blind flower girl in Bulwer Lytton’s Last Days of Pompeii, is a pitiful figure, groping her way through the winding streets of Pompeii. Then, when Vesuvius erupts and buries the city in ashes, all is black as midnight and the terror-stricken inhabitants rush frantically in an effort to escape, but lose their way. Nydia, however, accustomed as she is to the darkness, moves swiftly through the streets and rescues the one she loves. Now, it wasn’t good for her to be blind, but that very blindness became a productive asset.

A counselor said, “Out of hundreds of clients, none have ever said, ‘I learned the easy way.’ They all said, ‘I learned the hard way!’ “

Living through tough times makes us stronger. For instance, the bristlecone pine grows in California’s Sierra Nevada at the 10,500 feet elevation. These gnarled, twisted trees live in the most inhospitable environment you can imagine. There are bitterly cold winter winds and very little rainfall. In spite of all this, they flourish. Many of them are over four thousand years old, while trees on the protected side of the mountain rarely survive more than two hundred years. The trees that have weathered so many storms and suffered so many trials are more enduring.

We, too, can develop character from our adversity.

III. God Blesses Us In Our Limitations.

He helps us see long term benefits or present problems. We are finite and short-sighted. It’s hard for us to see from the universal perspective. A single event may be bad, and yet, together with other circumstances, it can work together to create good.

When his brothers, who had sold him into Egypt came, Joseph said, “Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.” “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Gen. 45:5; 50:20).

As a young boy, Joseph had been an idle dreamer and quite a spoiled brat. His life would probably have been wasted if he had stayed at home under the care of his overly indulgent father. He achieved greatness only after his unfortunate ordeal. Of course, it’s hard to appreciate the future benefits of present problems. We’d much prefer quick and easy solutions; but then we wouldn’t grow.

A mother said, “When my little boy struggles with his homework, I could easily do it for him, but that would destroy him.”

As human beings, we are like children trying to view a parade through a knothole in the fence. All we can see through our little knothole is the present, that which is happening right now. The part of the parade which has gone by is often forgotten, and the part of the parade yet to come cannot be seen at all. Our little knothole includes only this moment, this particular incident that is causing the pain or pleasure.

Furthermore, we tend to judge the whole show by what is happening to us right now.

But, suppose we could be lifted above the fence to a high vantage point. Then we could see the whole parade at once, and grasp the meaning of the procession from beginning to end. We could see how each event is related to the overall purpose. That’s God‘s perspective.

We can realize long-term benefits from our current limitations and problems. Yes, God promises to bless us in all things. Moses said, “You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out . . . The Lord will send a blessing on . . . everything you put your hand to . . .” (Deut. 28:6-8).

One beautiful Old Testament Scripture says, “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace." (Num. 6:24-26).

Since God can see our lives in their entirety, He isn’t as concerned about each minor crises as we are. Sometimes things make little sense from our earthbound position, but God deals with the eternal aspects. He understands that present curses can be future blessings.

Think about it. What life experiences have taught you the most? Was it some picnic or joke? No, it was probably a difficulty or a deep hurt. It may seem strange and paradoxical, but in a way, evil is the most creative force in this world. The pain of sickness built our hospitals. The blight of ignorance built our schools. The burden of sin built our churches. Because walking was painful, we created ways to ride. Because cold winters were unpleasant, we created heat sources. Nearly every benefit we have has come as a productive response to some evil. “Necessity is (truly) the mother of invention!”


So, the good word for today is that God blesses us and even turns negatives into positives. This knowledge should enable us to make the best of every situation. There’s an old story about a Norwegian fisherman who lived in a simple little cottage with his wife and two sons. Every morning the men went out into the ocean to catch fish. One day they got lost in a storm and didn’t know which way to go. Suddenly, off in the distance, they saw a golden glow. As they rowed toward the light, it became a blazing fire that lit up the wharf. When the fisherman stepped ashore, he saw his wife sobbing uncontrollably. “We’re safe!” he cried out; but she broke down again. “Everything’s gone,” she wailed. “Our house has burned to the ground.”

“Oh, but, my dear,” the survivor replied, “the fire that destroyed our house saved our lives!”

That’s how curses can be turned into blessings.