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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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Why Isn't God Blessing Me?

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For a long time Iíve been praying to God to give me lasting peace and happiness, which I havenít felt for a long time. Iím not trying to sound ungrateful, I just want to know why He isnít blessing me.óCherry, 16, NY


Shayna Answers:

Dear Cherry,

A mistake all of us make is comparing our own situations and experiences to those of others. It causes us to expect a particular amount of blessings and to risk being disappointed that our relationship with God isn’t a certain way.
 
Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a unique plan for each one of us. And that plan, regardless of how things might seem, is to bless us, to give us “hope and a future.”
 
Before we talk more about God’s individual plan for your life, it’s important to talk about what may be separating you from Him. Isaiah 59:2 says sin separates us from God, and 1 Corinthians 15:34 entreats us: “Come back to your senses . . . and stop sinning.”
 
Although we all have temptations we know we struggle with, sometimes we engage in unknown sins that displease God. If you’re committed to getting closer to God, Matthew 26:36-45 and Luke 4:1, 2 show the example of Jesus praying and fasting to achieve this. I’ve fasted a few times myself, and let me tell you, God is serious about revealing your weaknesses!
 
If you’re able, you can fast from food for a 12-hour period once a week. You can do something such as only drink juice from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. You don’t necessarily have to fast from food, though. Try fasting from TV, Internet celebrity gossip, movies, video games, meat, sugar, and caffeine for 30 days.
 
Spend the time that you usually spend on entertainment praying and reading your Bible. If you’re lost as to where to start reading, go to the Psalms. And while you’re reading Psalms, you can also look up and read the cross-referenced verses most Bibles offer. Go to Wednesday night prayer meetings during your fast, too.
 
Praying and fasting shows that we are purposefully seeking God. And Matthew 7:7, 8 promises: “He who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
 
John 14:15-21 and Luke 11:13 both say that when we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, God gives us the Holy Spirit. In John 14:27 Jesus says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you,” still referring to the Holy Spirit. Peace comes from the Holy Spirit, which is with you from the moment you accept Jesus—no matter how you feel!
 
You’re right in saying that sometimes it seems that God takes forever to bless us, but 2 Peter 3:9 reminds us that God’s timing is different from ours. Because His plan for our lives is individual, we can’t compare our experience with anyone else’s. For this reason Psalm 37:34 says: “Wait for the Lord.”
 
While we’re waiting on God, Romans 5:3-5 says that our suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, which produces hope, and “hope does not disappoint us.” So be patient. Eventually you will receive your hope, your peace, and your blessings.


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