Some of us distrust God because he blesses reborn believers unequally.
We endure more distress than others. Our temporal needs are more persistent and acute. We get less relief. Others enjoy more abundance than we do.
The apostle Peter raised the issue of unequal blessing during an uncomfortable conversation with Jesus.
Peter And John
Near the end of his earthly life, Jesus asked Peter to affirm his love for him three times. Each time Peter did so, Jesus commanded him to minister to others on his behalf.
Jesus told Peter he would die a gruesome death for his faithfulness in this effort, but the manner of his death would glorify God. Jesus then summarized Peter’s earthly mission in two words, “Follow me!”
Peter responded to this ominous warning by asking Jesus what would happen to the apostle John.
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”
Peter preached for several years until he died a martyr’s death via crucifixion. Tradition says he insisted on being crucified upside down because he felt unworthy of dying in the same manner as Jesus.
John ministered for decades until he was exiled to an island off the coast of Greece. Tradition says he died peacefully of old age after being spared from execution years earlier through divine intervention.
Both men now enjoy the same elevated status in heaven as an eternal reward for their earthly faithfulness.
At its core, Peter’s question to Jesus was about unequal blessing, as viewed from our human perspective.
He implicitly asked, “If God does not bless me with a long, easy life, how will he treat John? Will we suffer equally? Or will God bless us unequally?”
The answer Jesus gave Peter—What is it to you? Follow me—includes inherent truths that shine heavenly light on unequal blessing.
- God is sovereign. He can bless whomever he chooses, however, and whenever he wants.
- He assigns every reborn believer a divine destiny, a uniquely personal mission that glorifies him within a designated sphere of influence.
- Each of our missions has the same purpose—to spread the Gospel to unbelievers, nurture the faith of believers, and minister to the hurting people we encounter.
- However, God varies the timing, place, scope, and focus of our assignments, so his message reaches everyone everywhere in all walks of life.
- God bestows the abundance we need to prepare for and fulfill our missions,
- But because the details of our assignments vary by individual, he blesses us differently, i.e., unequally.
Mission Determines Blessing
Peter and John shared the same divine purpose, but God gave them personalized missions that varied in timing, place, scope, and focus.
He blessed them unequally because the differences in the nature and extent of their missions dictated that their blessings also differ.
Despite this inequality from an earthly perspective, God treated them equally from a heavenly perspective.
He gave both men the same opportunity to glorify him as they pursued the same divine purpose.
He gave both men the knowledge and experience they needed to prepare for and accomplish their unique missions.
He rewarded them equally in heaven for their faithfulness.
Whether God blesses us on earth with little or much abundance, our responsibility is to fulfill our assigned mission as best we can, so he can glorify himself in and through us.
Our faithfulness in completing our earthly mission impacts our enjoyment of heaven.
All reborn believers will share equally in the benefits of heaven, without exception, but some of us will have more to celebrate than others.
Those who fulfilled their divine missions on earth will enjoy for eternity the added delight of relishing how God glorified himself through their faithfulness.
Realigning Our Perspective
Instead of wondering why God has blessed others more than us—which is akin to covetousness—we should be thankful for the abundance we currently enjoy and focus on using it to accomplish our mission.
We should assume our blessings are sufficient to spread the Gospel within our present sphere of influence and nurture the faith of the people we currently encounter. We should ask God to nudge us when we are with those he has prepared for our outreach.
We should also intercede for those that God blesses more than us. We should pray they realize God is the source of their abundance and that, as a result, they draw close to him and use their blessings for his intended purpose.