“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” Matthew 4:1 (NIV)
I used to hate that God would send blessings our way…and then soon we would face a huge trial. “Why, God, do you tempt me with good things and then allow the rug to be pulled out from underneath me? I just allow myself to relax and WHAM – we’re hit with something difficult!”
However, this summer I realized that being blessed before the trial is Biblical. I was reading Matthew 3 and 4 and that is exactly what happened to Jesus Himself here on earth. If you aren’t familiar with that passage, it’s when Jesus asked John the Baptist to baptize Him and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him before He officially started His ministry. I would say that’s a pretty big blessing to receive! Then, directly after that, He was led into the desert and fasted (no food or water) and at the end of 40 days is when He was tempted by Satan three times but still didn’t sin. I would say that was a big trial.
There are many other instances in the Bible that talk about people achieving huge victories (blessings) and then immediately facing a trial afterwards, usually equally as huge. So, if people in the Bible were able to face blessings and then trials immediately after, who am I to think I shouldn’t?
Then it hit me. I wonder if God allows the blessings ahead of time to show us His love and protection before the trials hit so we have something in recent history to remind us that God protects, provides, heals, and cares for us. When we have blessings, we see God’s provisions, love, and protection over us right before we need to cling to Him constantly.
When I think about it that way, I’m grateful and humbled to think that God loves me enough to send blessings my way first before the difficulty to remind me He has this particular trial taken care of also. How can I be upset that He wants to lavish His blessings on me first, during and after difficulties?
That’s just the nature of God – He loves His children. Sometimes He chooses to take away the difficulties altogether and we never see them. However, if that happened all the time, we also wouldn’t have the privilege of seeing His protection and how He keeps us safe. Sometimes, He allows us to go through trials to help us grow – but even during those times, He is always right there with us, going ahead of us and knowing the outcome before we start walking.
So, next time I have some major blessings come into my life, I will concentrate on saying “thank You” to my Father for loving me enough to bless me, not fear that there is a trial waiting for me around the corner. Because whether or not this is one of those instances where I will then face a trial, I know that God has this…and He has the answer already figured out. I just have to start walking.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015