Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blessed in the Trials

This morning I opened my Bible and landed on Genesis 31, and found a few encouraging verses I hadn't paid much attention to before.

Here we land in the middle of the story of Jacob. At this point, he's been living with his wives and children, working for his father-in-law Laban for many years. Laban has lied to Jacob, cheated him, and basically tried to manipulate life in general for Jacob's family. Laban's family is in on the game, making matters worse.

This chapter is where God finally says, "OK Jacob - enough is enough. Take your family and go back to your homeland."

He didn't have to tell Jacob twice! He packed up the camels and headed out without even saying goodbye.

There's more to the story, but here's what I noticed this morning:

Jacob had spent MANY years working under Laban's thumb. No doubt, he was unhappy with the way he was treated. But he had stayed, true to his promise to work seven years per wife. God blessed him abundantly while he was there. What Laban intended for his own gain, God used to bless Jacob.

The lesson here is: it is possible to prosper in difficult circumstances. Fulfill your obligation, even if it's hard, and God will take care of you. Those hard times are what God uses to mature you and bring you closer to the abundant life He promises His children. And you never know - one day God just might surprise you and say, "That's enough. It's time to go now," and lead you to an even better place.

Can you see the blessings in your trials?

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