The Problems with Blessings

Those Christians who are gospel-centered are in great shape to see blessings in context. Good things do not ever exist in a vacuum.

The closest it’s ever come to having good things without problems was in Eden. But even there, everything good was given. No man has ever had anything good from and by and for himself. He has always needed to give thanks. It wasn’t a trial, but it was a test.

After the fall, this is what man naturally hates to do: give thanks. He wants good things that will make him happy, but he doesn’t want them in the real world. He doesn’t want to be in love, he wants to be in love in a movie. He wants to make an idol, have that idol bless him without requiring anything, and then also not to have to deal with the nagging sense of silliness about the process. The last part may be the most difficult.

But, someone might say, what about in heaven? Won’t the blessings there be removed from all problems? In one way, but not in all ways. The blessings may come unattached to new problems, but not from the remembrance of problems. We’ll still have questions such as How did we get there? Who paid for all of this?

In John’s vision in Revelation he “saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain” (Revelation 5;6). We will always worship God for His love for us, love shown when Jesus died on the cross. Every blessing we enjoy forever is only any good as it is on context of our sin, His sacrifice, and salvation. Blessings don’t come in a vacuum. They come at a cost.

At the Lord’s Table we’re already learning to receive the good from God in the context of trouble. But even those troubles are good in so far as God uses them to keep us dependent on Him for good.