3 Surprising Promises That God Never Made (but You Probably Wish He Did)

3 Surprising Promises That God Never Made (but You Probably Wish He Did)

In Scripture, God makes a lot of promises. He promised to bless Abraham in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:2-3). He promised protection over his children as the vigilant watchman over all Israel (Psalm 121), and promised salvation to all who believe in his Son (Romans 1:16-17).

God has a plan and always keeps his promises (Numbers 23:19). He has promised to complete the transformative work that he’s begun in you and me (Philippians 1:6), a promise that implies that it might take some time.

God keeps all his promises, but there are a few things he never promised that might surprise you.

1. Instant comfort

Many television preachers have built a personal empire on the false promise that obeying God will lead to material prosperity and success, but God never promised his followers an easy life.

In fact, scripture warned us to expect the opposite of being comfortable (John 16:33)—hardship and persecution from the world, and even correction from his own hand (Hebrews 12:7).

2. Immediate justice

God promises to heal the wounded, reward the faithful, and punish the wicked (2 Corinthians 5:10).

But unlike most of us, God is patient (2 Peter 3:9). That’s comforting when we think about him showing patience toward us, but not when we realize that he’s also patient with those who harm, oppress, and offend us. Even though we may want justice right now, Scripture doesn’t give us permission to enforce our own interpretation of justice (Romans 12:9). Instead, we’re told to wait on God’s perfect plan to be carried out on his perfect time (Psalm 37:7).

God promises justice, but not immediate justice.

3. Quick change

Do stories of miraculous life change transformation fuel your faith? As much as you love to see successful life change in others, you also long to experience it yourself.

You may desperately want that intoxicating spiritual high for God’s glory, yet you still wrestle with entrenched habits and besetting sins (Hebrews 12:1). You probably have even found yourself praying, “God, where are you? Please do a mighty work in me!”

Don’t lose heart. God has promised to change you. He has promised to complete the transformative work that he’s begun (Philippians 1:6) in your life—a promise that implies a process. He just didn’t promise to do it quickly.

Rest in God’s promises

Though the world may wish that God promised immediate justice on earth, instant comfort, and quick change, God’s promises are much bigger. He knows our needs (Matthew 6:33). He promises all things will turn out well for His children, and that he’ll comfort us in trials (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

No matter what you’re up against today, reflect on this passage from Matthew 11:28-29, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

That’s one of God’s promises you can cling to everyday.

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Sections of this article originally appeared on the Faithlife blog.

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