9.30.2009

Believing the Wrong Promise

I confess. I've done it. More than once I've done it. I believed. I believed with all of my heart. I was sure things would be as I envisioned, as I believed. The problem is, I was believing the wrong promise.

Why is it that we seem to think tough things shouldn't come our way? Why do we think we should be protected, shielded, untouched? Where did this belief come from? How is it that we latch on to this as the promise to cling to?

There are many verses that lead us to see otherwise. "In this world you will have troubles". (Jn. 16:33 ) "When you pass through the waters... When you pass through the rivers... When you walk through the fire... " ( Is. 43:2) "We are hard pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down." (II Cor. 4: 8-9)

I don't notice a maybe, perhaps, if, possibly.... no... instead I see words like will, are and when. I've had it wrong so many times. I've wanted the promise to be that it would not, could not, happen. I was believing the wrong promise.

II Cor. 4:17 "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all."

In his book "It's Not About Me", Max Lucado says the following:
"The words 'weight of glory' conjure up images of the ancient pan scale. Remember, two pans, one on either side of the needle. The weight of a purchase would be determined by placing weights on one side and the purchase on the other.

God does the same with your struggles. On one side he stacks all your burdens. Stack them up, and watch one side of the pan scale plummet.

Now witness God's response. Does he remove them? Eliminate the burdens? No, rather than take them, he offsets them. He places an eternal weight of glory on the other side. Endless joy. Measureless peace. An eternity of him. Watch what happens as he sets eternity on your scale.

Everything changes! The burdens lift. The heavy becomes light when weighed against eternity."
If you look back at those previous verses, he offsets each situation with Himself. "You will have peace. Take heart! I have overcome the world."(Jn 16:33) "I will be with you. The rivers will not sweep over you. You will not be burned." (Is. 43:2) "We are not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, not destroyed." (II Cor. 4: 8-9) These are just a sampling of the promises found throughout Scripture.

We are not promised a life of ease and comfort. We are not promised escape, rescue, tearless, pain-free living. We are guaranteed quite the opposite. BUT, we are promised, beyond the shadow of a doubt, God's presence, peace, joy... His very self through it all. We are promised the heavy will become light when weighed against eternity.

So often I find myself believing the wrong promise. As Natalie Grant has so well stated, "The promise was... when everything fell...we'd be held".

That is the promise. It is one worth clinging to. That is the promise to clasp for dear life. The promise that when everything feels as if it is crashing around you, that you will not survive, that it so very dark and more than you can take... you will be held. Held in the very palm of the Heavenly Father's hand. Now that is a promise worth believing!

Friend, what promise are you believing today? Are you believing the wrong promise? Or are you believing, in the midst of it all, that you are being held? Are you believing that regardless of what is yet to come, you will be held...




4 comments:

  1. I sat and cried through this, friend. I am clinging to the promise that I've had to cling to for the past 2 years of my life... that because I'm HELD there is HOPE. Still praying for you and yours.

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  2. Although I could have never written it so eloquently, I was going to write a post on that very subject! My son who has been sober for over 100 days (court ordered AA and NA and 5 day a week drug testing) can't understand why everything isn't going his way now that he's doing what "he's supposed to do".....He can't see the miracle only the hardship. Only he couldn't see how hard it was because his thinking was always impaired. Anyhow....thanks for this today! Just what I needed!

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  3. Perhaps it's because we also come across verses about the righteous never going hungry or Ps 91. But you are right about plenty of warnings for believers to expect trouble and suffering. A very thoughtful post, Donetta. Thank you.

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  4. So good Donnetta. I just had this discussion with hubby recently. At one time in my Christian walk I used to believe that if things were going awry and didn't change in quick order upon praying that somehow I wasn't believing hard enough, or praying hard enough, or serving hard enough or repenting hard enough. Lately I've come to see that, yes, Christians now and even in the apostle's day never had problem free lives, but were instead carried through them by the Lord. A very thoughtful post.

    Still praying for your family.

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