Be Blessed or Be Cursed

How can we be a blessing to someone or be a curse to someone.  Do our words encourage or discourage?  Do you want to be blessed by God or be cursed by God?

Being blessed is being encouraged and made joyful with good things.  We are blessed when someone is kind to us or is patient and gives us grace when we screw up.  The Bible says we are blessed when we remain in the presence of God (see John 15).  We are also blessed when we trust and obey God.   We will be blessed even in our trials and distresses, because He is with us.  The word blessed occurs 306 times in the English Standard Version (ESV).

To be cursed is to be made miserable and destitute because of our own sin or the sin of other people.  So, what is sin?  The short answer, sin is disobedience to the truth and commands in the Bible (i.e., love others, be kind, patient, etc.).  We are also cursed when we do not trust and obey God and when we turn our hearts away from Him.  The word cursed occurs 74 times in the ESV.  Our words are the most common way we curse God and each other.  Read my post called: WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

Meditate on and journal your answers for the following Scripture:

Jeremiah 17:5-8 states, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6) He is like a shrub in the desert and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.’  7) ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  8) He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.‘”

??  How are we cursed when we trust in man and find strength in our flesh (verse 5)?

??  What happens when we turn our hearts away from the LORD (verse 6)?  Does your life feel like this?

??  What happens when we trust the LORD (verse 8)?  In what areas of your life can you trust God more?

Deuteronomy 28 also defines how we will be blessed or cursed if we choose to obey or not.

All these BLESSINGS will come upon you and accompany you
If you OBEY the LORD your God:

1. Your children will be blessed.
2. Your land and livestock will be productive (e.g., your life work will be successful.)
3. Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed (e.g., you’ll have plenty to eat.)
4. You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
5.  Your enemies will be defeated before you.  They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.
6. The LORD will send a blessing on your barns (wealth) and on everything you put your hand to.
7. The LORD will establish you as his holy people…
8. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity…
9. The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands.
10. The LORD will make you the head, not the tail IF you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God… you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

Also, read the Beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5 and Luke chapter 6 to learn more on how to be blessed.

However, IF you do NOT obey the LORD your God…
ALL these CURSES will come upon you and overtake you.

1. Wherever you go, you will be cursed.
2. Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed (e.g., you will not have enough to eat.)
3. Your children will be cursed.
4. Your land and livestock will be cursed (e.g., your life work will fail.)
5. You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out.
6. The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. (2 Chronicles 12:14 states, “He did evil, for he did not set his heart to seek the LORD.”)
7. The LORD will plague you with diseases… with a wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew…
8. The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder…
9. The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies…
10. The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured.
11. The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind.
12. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do…

There are 17 more curses listed in this passage. Would you not agree that it is better to obey than disobey?  To know more about what evil is, please read the following post: EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy?

?? How do the verses in Jeremiah compare with the verses in Deuteronomy?

?? Are you experiencing any of the above curses? If you are, then seek God to show you the sin of disobedience that is blocking God’s blessings.

??  What changes do you need to make to be blessed?

To learn how you can live a blessed life read: Living a Victorious Life

Another type of curse that causes misery are word curses put on us by family members, teachers, and those who hate us. I became free from many curses, and I encourage you to read my short book on my website to know what curses are and how you can become free too. Many times we bring curses on ourselves when we do not trust and obey God. If you struggle to trust God, you may have false beliefs that prevent you from trusting God. I encourage you to read my short book to be free from these unhealthy beliefs. Go to Hopeforcompletehealing.com

?? Do you want to be blessed or cursed?

?? What do you need to do to be blessed?

Trust God to Keep His Promises

This post recounts the miracles I experienced when I trusted God to keep His promises.  In my last post, I explained my experience of feeling peace knowing God keeps His promises.  God keeps His promises even if we don’t always physically see it, which is why we need faith. Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  What will keep us from experiencing miracles is doubt.  We cannot have faith and doubt, that is a double mind. James 1:6-8 states, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” My encouragement is to expect God to keep His promises through faith. Remember what Hebrews 11:1 states what faith is? “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”  For example, we don’t see the bulbs in the ground, but we have the promise that when spring comes the bulbs will miraculously produce beautiful blooms.  The promises of God are assurances, and we can expect for God to keep His promises, just as we can expect flower bulbs to bloom.

One of my favorite Old Testament stories of faith is when King Jehoshaphat faced enemy armies, and he became frightened. See 2 Chronicles 20 for the whole story. So, he prayed and reminded God of his promises to the people of Judah and recounted all that God had done. Then God spoke through a prophet, and he said, “Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” Then He said to go out against them and He will be with them.  They worshiped God and obeyed. So, Jehoshaphat sent the singers first, and they sang, “Give thanks to the LORD, for His steadfast love endures forever.” Then what happened next was amazing. God caused the armies to destroy each other during the night. When they arrived at the battle field and saw what happened, they worshiped the Lord.

The application to our lives is that situations will happen that frighten us. When this occurs, pray by faith; recount God’s promises, remember what he had done in the past for you, and seek His help. When He tells you what to do, then obey and worship Him. When you see the victory, give God the thanks and praise.

For example, when I became a single mother of two toddlers and I had no job, I was frightened. When the father of my children said, if I leave him I will never see the children, I was frightened. When I did not know where I would live, I was frightened. So, I prayed and told God that He promised to supply all my needs according to His riches (Philippians 4:19), and I reminded Him that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalms 50:10) and can provide for all my needs. Also, I was very afraid my ex-husband would kill me and the children, so I trusted in God’s promise to protect me and my children as He protected David when King Saul tried to kill him.  Luke 18:27 states, “But He said. ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.’  Think about your situation.  What promises of God do you need?  In my next post, I will list key promises we can trust God to keep and the corrupt thinking that keeps us from having the faith to believe.  God kept the promises that I claimed over my situations.

The first major miracle, a friend suggested I become a seamstress and run an alteration business. Though I did not know what to expect, I advertised and went to dry cleaners looking for work. Praise God, I earned enough money to pay my bills and put food on the table and keep my children at home with me.

The second major miracle was providing a place for us to live. I didn’t qualify for a mortgage and rent was so high. But, a banker in my church called me up and said he found someone who would give me a mortgage for a 4 bedroom, 1 & 1/2 bath, house that needed fixed up, which is a modern day miracle.  I can testify to many other miracles of how God provided for me and my children.

The third major miracle was how God protected my children and prevented my ex-husband from making sure I never saw them again. I have to admit that I had anxiety attacks every time he came around to pick up the children.  One time he kidnapped the children and refused to let me see them. I paced and prayed for 11 days until my lawyer was able to get them returned. I have feet problems to this day from that event. God was with me and helped me through all the court hearings. During one court hearing my ex-husband had a psychologist come in to testify that I was an abusive mother and I should not have any custody. The psychologist testified on my behalf and my first husbands lawyer even advocated for me; what an incredible miracle.

His next attempt to get full custody was to get married.  He took me to court and told the Judge it would be better for the children to be in a two parent home.  The Judge did not go for. God is good. Though I went through many trials, I learned I could trust God to keep His promises.  To clarify, I was not a perfect Christian. I had a lot of anger and anxiety from all the abuse, which manifested often. I continually confessed my sin and sought God’s help.  And, I trusted in another promise found in Hebrews 4:16 which states, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Paul also sought God’s help during a trial he was suffering and God said, “My  grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9.  God’s grace is His power.

The fourth major miracle was sending me a wonderful second husband.  I was not looking to remarry or date because I had a 90% chance of marrying another abusive man.  When my separation happened with my first husband, I claimed the promise in Isaiah 61:7,8 which states, “Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.  8) For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.”  I received a double portion for sure.

I describe my transformation from anger and anxiety to peace and joy in the following blog called: WHAT IS INNER LIFE TRANSFORMATION?