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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro


Blessed or Offended?


"Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me." - Luke 7:23 NASB

I was speaking with a young woman I know when I discovered pretty quickly that she was offended at God and His dealings with her. She shared with me how she had tried praying, but when her prayers went unanswered, she became disappointed and bitter. I have met a lot of people like her over the years, and it saddens me that they are going to miss out on the joys of heaven simply because they are offended at God.

Jesus said, "Blessed (happy - with life-joy and satisfaction in God's favor and salvation, apart from outward conditions - and to be envied) is he who takes no offense in Me and who is not hurt or resentful or annoyed or repelled or made to stumble [whatever may occur]." (Luke 7:23 AMP) This verse describes this young woman perfectly. Because the Lord didn't meet her expectations, she has become resentful and annoyed with Him to the point that she is forfeiting "God's favor and salvation."

Think about this: Jesus says here that "apart from outward conditions," His favor and salvation can be ours. So, it may look to the outside world - and even to us, sometimes - that we are not being "blessed" by God, when in reality, we really are. Those prayers that we pray that go answered can be the Lord's greatest gifts to us sometimes, even when they don't appear that way to us or to others.

Some Christians today have received God's gift of salvation, but they are living without "God's favor." Why? Because they are offended at God. They have allowed themselves to become resentful toward the Lord because He hasn't fulfilled their expectations. And they do not have the "life-joy" that this verse talks about, because you can't be resentful and joyful at the same time.

Jesus says that those who refuse to be offended toward Him - "whatever may occur" - are "to be envied," because they will be "blessed" beyond measure in the long run. You cannot be blessed by God and offended at Him at the same time. Which will you choose?

Lord, I want to live my life blessed, and not offended. Work in my heart so that when trouble comes, I will keep in mind that You are never the problem - You are always the answer. Remind me often that when you don't answer my prayers the way I would like You to, it's always because You have something even better in mind for me. Today, I choose to be joyful, instead of resentful!

Prayer: One of the promises the Lord gave me that meant the most to me back then was Isaiah 50:7-8 (NLT): "Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. He who gives me justice is near." And God graciously kept His promise to me. Over the years, He has either transformed people's hearts and made them His devoted ones, or He has strengthened and consoled me so thoroughly, that it no longer pains me when others oppose my faith.

- J. M. Farro

 

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