God’s Prerogative to Bless

Read Matthew 20:1–16.

We’ve all been there—that place where you feel left out in the cold, unappreciated, and unrewarded. Maybe you’ve been there recently. Maybe you’re there right now. Everyone else seems to be getting ahead, while you’re wheezing and gasping and struggling to keep up.

From the outside, it appears some people succeed without even trying, but in your own life things are rarely so easy. It could be finances or career or even spiritual growth. We all want to move forward and feel the blessing of God on our life—and if we can’t have that all the time, we’d just like this world to be fair.

Jesus talked about the blessings of the kingdom a lot. One time He told a parable about workers in a vineyard where payment was hardly fair, at least in the way we think of fairness. Each worker received the same wage for the day, regardless of whether they’d been at work since the wee hours of the morning or showed up just before quitting time. “So the last will be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:16). It’s enough to make the fair-minded among us bristle with objections.

However, God is not unjust. This parable makes that clear, as each worker was paid at least what they were promised. But God is also remarkably generous, giving more than the going rate to those who arrived late. As we navigate this life and think about the next, we can count on both God’s justice and God’s generosity. In fact, if it weren’t for both, there would have been no cross, no salvation, and no hope.

God sees what we can’t, so when it seems like you’re missing out on God’s blessings, remember there may a good reason; perhaps He’s actually be keeping you from unseen heartache and loss. Remember, too, that His timing is not ours, so hold on, keep praying, keep trusting. But above all, know that God’s goodness is always greater than we can imagine.

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