Believing in the Blessing
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Have you ever asked God for something repeatedly but felt as if He wasn't listening? Did you settle for less because you didn't believe the Lord would provide what you really wanted? In this study, learn how our Father longs to bless us as we ask and believe in faith.
Begin by reading the story of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 16:1-16 and Gen. 18:1-15.
1. God promises to give us all we need and the desires of our hearts—if we ask Him. Abraham and Sarah petitioned God for an heir to perpetuate their legacy. After time had passed, God provided their son Isaac.
James 4:2 says, "You do not have because you do not ask." If we never ask God for anything, how can we expect Him to answer us?
- Do you have an unmentioned need or want in your life? Humbly ask God to meet your request now.
2. God promises us His best, but we have to trust His timing. The Lord promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the night sky, but instead of waiting on God's promise, Abraham took steps on his own to ensure the birth of an heir.
By having a child with Sarah's maidservant, Abraham didn't fulfill God's promise. Instead, he created conflict and unrest (Gen. 16:4-6).
- Have you ever tried to meet a need or satisfy a desire outside of the Lord's timing? Describe the results.
- Sarah's inability to trust God affected her and the people around her. How did Sarah's impatience hurt others?
We are limited to the resources at our disposal to fulfill needs and desires, but God holds the entire universe in His hands.
3. The Lord will deliver on His promise, even in situations that make fulfillment seem impossible. When the messenger reported that Sarah would have a son, Abraham was skeptical. After all, 90-year-old women do not typically become pregnant. Sarah simply laughed at the notion. Both of them forgot that God's actions frequently transcend the realm of logic and understanding.
- Jesus said, "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God" (Luke 18:27). Have you ever asked Him for something that seemed completely out of reach? What answer did you receive?
- Do you currently have an "impossible" need in your life? What do you think God wants you to believe about His ability to bless you in this area?
Sometimes our friends and family will feed our doubts about the Lord's provision in our lives. What should we do in those situations?
- Read Job 1:1-22 and Job 2:1-13. Think about how Job reacted to losing everything that he had. Would you be able to trust God for healing and restoration in similar circumstances? Why or why not?
- Look at the response of Job's wife (Job 2:9). Have you ever experienced family members "encouraging" you this way? Describe how you reacted.
- Later on, we see Job's friends respond to his plight. Are your friends supportive, encouraging you to wait on God's blessing? If not, what steps can you take to develop friendships with people who are spiritually mature?
4. For God to bless us, we must be obedient to His Word. Disobedience will always be an obstacle to receiving His blessings, no matter how small the offense. We must take great care to repent of any disobedient behavior and change course if we want to experience His favor.
- Is there anything in your life that might hinder you from receiving God's gifts? If so, write a prayer of confession and choose to turn away from that sin.
Disobeying God may seem profitable at the time, but it will never bring about His blessings.
- In 1 Samuel 15:1-35, what did Saul learn about the consequences of disobedience?
Closing: In scripture, God repeatedly promises to bless us beyond what we can imagine. In order for Him to fulfill that promise, however, we must truly believe that He will. God's promises may seem illogical and impossible at times. But for the Creator of the universe, nothing is out of reach.
Prayer: Father, thank You for promising that You will bless me, even beyond what I can fathom. Help me to trust You and not seek my own methods for receiving blessings. And help me not to listen if someone tells me to disregard Your ways. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.