Sunday, September 21, 2014

Snake oil promises

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning. – Lamentations 3:21-23 RSV
“God has seen you struggling with some things,” the Facebook message to me read, “and God says it's over. A blessing is coming your way….” With just a few clicks of a mouse, the letter claimed, my struggles would be over. And if I didn’t do what it said, I’ve failed a test God sent.
I don’t think so.
You see, the God I know and love and worship blesses me every single morning—and every moment of every day. He gives me the breath of life, family to love and cherish, food to nourish my body (and satisfy my cravings), a beautiful world to live in, friends to laugh and pray with, meaningful work that fulfills His purpose for me, an open line of communication with Him 24/7 through prayer . . . I could go on and on and on.
His blessings never come to an end.
Although sometimes we may feel as though they do. When trying circumstances don’t change, no matter that we’ve prayed and prayed and prayed. When we fall on hard times. When our hopes and dreams are smashed or evaporate over time. When we lose something or someone that meant the world to us. When we cry out, “Why, God?” or “Where are You?”
God never promised us heaven on earth. It’s what He’d wanted for us when He created the world and placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But our first parents decided to believe the deceiver, not the God who walked with them and talked with them in that beautiful place where they had everything they needed.
And ever since then we humans have been looking for quick fixes to our problems. Even believers fall prey to these snake oil promises. 
Passing on such messages with the hope that your situation will change and God will suddenly decide to bless your socks off falls on the side of superstition. These messages use fear, not faith, to ensure their perpetuity.
God sees you struggling, but it may not be time to relieve you because your struggle has not yet served its purpose. “We pray for God to change circumstances,” writes renowned Bible teacher Charles Swindoll in his book Insights on John. “He prefers to change us.”
This chain letter promises that if you obey the directions tomorrow will be the best day of your life.
I don’t think so.
You see, today—this moment—is the best of your life. Because God is in it. He is here. He cares for you and what You’re going through. You’re the apple of His eye (Psalm 17:8). His love and faithfulness are steadfast and unlimited (Psalm 36:5). You’re engraved on the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16). He is a shield around you (Psalm 3:3). He goes before you and behind you. His hand both guides you and holds you fast (Psalm 139:10).
And you don’t need a chain letter to tell you all that. Just open the Bible, God’s Word—it’s full of promises you can believe in.
Remind me, Father, that You are my provider, my protector, and my portion. Amen.

Special-Tea: Lamentations 3:21–26; Psalm 139

1 comment:

  1. Such an encouraging post. I am so comforted by the truth that God's promises are everlasting in all situations and circumstances.