Everybody loves Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, and not harm you. To give you a future and a hope.”
We eat that stuff up like delicious, delicious candy.
Or what about “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me?”
That’s a good one, too!
“Taste and see that the Lord is good, and blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” That’s a great one, which has adorned many a pillow down through the years.
How about “God is faithful in that, with every temptation, He provides a way of escape that you may be able to bear it?”
That’s a good one! And it’s probably the genesis of the oft-quoted (but less than biblical idea) that “God never gives us more than we can bear.”
Poppycock, I say! Tis pure balderdash!
Is this the same God Who says “In this world you will have tribulation?” Is it the same God that admonishes us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling?” Is is the same God Who promises us “they shall hate you because they first hated Me?”
When the last time you saw that cross-stitched anywhere?
Or taught about in your church for that matter?
What about the epistle of First Peter, where we’re told “after you shall have suffered, God will?” We kind of gloss over that don’t we? Nobody wants to suffer, endure pain, or hardship.
But God promises it.
We shall be delivered up, the world shall hate us. Some of us will even die for our faith–be martyred.
Cheery thoughts, I know. These are the not so precious promises of God. The ones we don’t like think about.
Here’s another one: “Whether we live, or die, it is for Christ.” And “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Fact is, nobody wants to die. But sooner, or later, we all do. There’s no avoiding it. Whether by “famine, or nakedness, or sword, or peril” nothing is able to separate us from his love. Not Ebola, or ISIS.
OR ANY OTHER THING ANYWHERE.
Here’s a promise you can stake your life (and afterlife) upon:
“Fear not him [ISIS, disease, the devil] who can destroy the body, but Him Who can destroy the soul [God].”
What’s your favorite not-so-precious promise of God?