As I said last week, life hasn’t been easy lately, and the battles have become more painful over the last several months, taking a greater toll on my family. Up until a couple of weeks ago, through constant assault from the thief and liar, I had unwittingly come to a place where I was beginning to doubt God’s goodness, and wonder if the battles were worth the cost. A sermon on God’s faithful promises came at just the right moment and magnified for me the dangerous direction in which my heart was headed.
God is Faithful to Keep Every Promise
I’ve come to realize there are usually five reasons why it may seem God has failed to keep his promises:
- God didn’t really say it. We must know God’s Word for ourselves, not assume that what everyone else is saying is true. For example, an often quoted “promise” is “God will never give us more than we can bear.” Yet, God didn’t say that, but instead said: (click the following links) 1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
- God said it but we’ve taken His promise out of context. This is easy to do when we note “promises” online or in books, but don’t also uncover within scripture the context into which the promise was given. God’s Word tells us God expects us to be able to rightly handle His Word. 2 Timothy 2:15
- God said it but I don’t believe Him. True faith is always based upon relationship with God, and has everything to do with not only trusting He is who is says He is but that He will also do all He said He will do. Hebrews 11:6
- We’ve failed to recognize the promise’s conditions and purposes. I’m coming to realize God’s promises aren’t so we can escape all trouble and have an easy life. God made His people promises to give us the power and ability to become like Jesus, and to grow in intimacy with Him. So, to ensure His promises fulfill His greater purposes for our lives, He often set boundaries in place for their fulfillment. 2 Peter 1:3-8
- We don’t think like God. This is something both my husband and I have had to face as we’ve considered God’s promises of protection while grappling with the deaths of our former spouses. I’m learning to ask for His perspective as I step out in faith regarding His promises and their fulfillment, realizing there will be times I just don’t understand how God’s actions could be a fulfillment of His promises. In those moments I’m beginning to understand He is fulfilling His promises – in ways I don’t yet understand from my limited perspective. Isaiah 55:8-9; Proverbs 3:5-6
As I pursue God’s heart more attentively this year, I’m struck with the number of promises that do contain conditions. I’m also coming to understand God’s conditions are in place to give us the opportunity to grow in intimacy with Him through the battles of life. God knows that were He to fulfill His promises without conditions, we would use Him rather than seek Him.
God's promises often require conditions because otherwise we would use Him rather than seek Him. Click To Tweet
Frankly, although I long for ease, I truly need God Himself more. And as I read God’s promises, I discover His conditions aren’t burdensome, but instead are the pathways to greater intimacy.
As I read God's promises I discover His conditions aren't burdensome, but instead are the pathways to greater intimacy with Him. Click To Tweet
What or Who is most important?
Do you long to draw closer to God through the battle? Or are your motives in claiming God’s promises simply efforts to escape difficulty?
The pain of the battle coupled with God posing these very questions to my own heart have made me really search my own motives for following Jesus.
The Apostles were also asked the same questions at a point in Jesus’ ministry when many were turning away because His words were too hard for them to accept. Below was Peter’s reply when asked whether or not he too was planning on walking away because the battle was becoming more difficult.
“So Jesus asked the Twelve, “Do you want to leave too?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that You are the Holy One of God.”…
John 6:67-69 (Berean Study Bible)
Through time of contemplation and soul-searching, I’ve been reminded that Jesus is the only One to whom I can go to find abundant life, inexpressible joy, lasting peace, and abiding hope. I can’t find these anywhere other than in Him, and He paid an exorbitant cost to grant them to me. Were I to search the whole earth, I would find no cheaper alternatives worth having.
Also, along with these costly gifts, the added gift of intimacy granted us through enduring the trial with Christ can’t be compared to anything we’d receive were we to avoid the battle. I know, I’ve tried.
All promises. All true. These are gifts too costly to obtain any other way than through facing battles.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOURSELF AT THIS MOMENT?
Has your battle become so great, and the lies of the thief so blaring you’ve almost given up? Please don’t. Consider the One who offers such extravagant gifts, and run to Him. His promises are sure within His close embrace.
Let Him fling wide His arms and enfold you – granting you His great promises through trials that bear the fruit of intimacy. The battle is worth it.
With much love,
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