There are specific times in our lives when we really need help. For instance, we may need funds to pay incoming bills. Or we may need to find a new/better job. There are also seasons where we are stuck in our faith, and we need a fresh awakening of our spirit or deep encouragement. This may be because we are walking through a time of stress, loss, or difficulty. In those times, what should we do? Focus inward, and sit alone not knowing where to search for answers? Or sit and stew over the situation and become bitter because God has not yet answered our prayers? Have you ever tried doing the opposite? — focus your attention on other people, while you wait for God to meet your needs?
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy receiving gifts. There have been moments in my life where against my better judgment, God has asked me to give to Him and to others. Now, I was in a position where I needed the gift, but instead, I was supposed to be the gift giver. God was asking me to trust Him and step out in faith. In these moments, I am reminded of the impoverished widow in Mark 12:41-44 who gave all the money she had. She had nothing, but she still gave and Jesus praised her actions, her actions showed her level of faith in God, and of her reliance on Him. If we serve others, God sees that.
There is something interesting that happens when we decide to focus on God and others instead of ourselves. When we turn our eyes away from OUR situation, we can get ourselves out of that rut. At first, we think that we have to figure out what is making us stuck, or find an answer to our problem. But, more often than not, if we simply let go of the need to figure it out, we release our faith and allow God show us the answer. Often times we cannot see it for ourselves. We need God to reveal the answer to us. But if we are continually focused on ourselves, then we are trying to do God’s work for Him, instead of relying on Him.
Christ teaches us to put others above ourselves, to be sacrificial: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Why is it that when we are attentive to others, our needs somehow get met too? When we give, not looking for anything in return, God is the one who can reward us, and we get more returned to us. God’s promise is that when we “give, it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).
There is no greater reward we can receive than that which comes from God. I have witnessed many times how God’s rewards have been far greater than what I could have imagined for myself. I remember a specific time when I was dealing with a difficult situation and had some unexpected additional expenses to pay for. Because I had been pouring my life into others around me, many of my friends stepped up to help me with whatever they had. I did not even have to ask them! God will reward us and provide for us if we rely on Him. When He provides or gives us the answers we’ve been seeking, we know that it is from Him alone!
God has not called us to give what we don’t have but to give from what we do have. As we do this, we are sharing the love of God to those around us. As we take care of others, God takes care of us. And all that comes back to us and into our lives is from God, and we give Him the glory.
So today I challenge you, instead of looking to be blessed, think of a way that you can be a blessing to someone.