If you’re wondering why some promises haven’t come to pass in your life, it could be that you’re hanging on a wish, not a promise.
Maybe some well-meaning Christians wanted to encourage you, and told you that God would grant your every desire… but they are misrepresenting God and leading you astray.
So to keep you from experiencing unnecessary disappointment and frustration, let’s talk about five things that God NEVER promised.
Non-promise #1: A trouble-free life.
I often hear people say, “My life got WORSE after I came to Christ.”
Too often people are encouraged to come to Jesus, so that he will take away all their trouble and make life good. And while he does bring the abundant life, it’s not always about just making our problems go away.
That’s because following Christ, isn’t about you, it’s about him.
The truth is, without Jesus, the only thing we truly deserve is eternal damnation. And Jesus was clear in John 16:33 when he said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Our focus should be on the overcomer not the trouble.
Because God never promised a trouble-free life, but He did promise that He would be with you in those troubles (Hebrews 13:5).
In fact, we have a responsibility in our troubles and it’s found in Romans 12:12: “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
God never said you wouldn’t have troubles, he said be patient in your troubles—and keep praying.
Non-promise #2: A trial-free life.
As children, we would think that those in authority over us were being ‘mean’ if they tested or tried us.
As adults, many Christians behave in a similarly immature way when they are enduring a trial or a test.
The “Why, God, why?” and When, God, when?” distracts you from being steadfast under the trial and from receiving the lessons that God is trying to teach.
James 1:12 is a sobering reminder: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”
Thinking that God will not test you or try you is about as arrogant as thinking that your teachers should promote you without testing you.
Instead, let your prayer be, “God, let the lessons not be wasted.”
Non-promise #3: A consequence-free life.
The most loving thing a father can do is to allow his child to suffer their own consequences, especially when this father knows that there is no remorse.
Be honest, if you kept getting rescued from your mistakes, what’s to motivate you from continuing to make them?
Romans 8:28 is a wonderful passage that many Christians misunderstand and misquote. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” is not a biblical version of the worldly saying “Things happen for a reason.”
When used in that context, it is often a justification for poor choices. The belief that God will turn all of your mistakes into something “good” eliminates the need to grow in wisdom and seek the Spirit of God for direction.
So, yes, God will work all things together for good, but the good He’s referring to is an eternal good, not just a ‘good for you’ in this life.
Remember, God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap (Galatians 6:7).
God is more concerned with your character than your comfort.
Non-promise #4: A wealthy life.
The prosperity gospel is rampant in many churches today.
The ‘gotta get mine’ mentality has created a subset of dissatisfied, entitled Christians that make belief in God all about what they can get.
I personally have a hard time even using that term to describe such people as Christians as nowhere did Jesus ever promise his followers wealth and success.
The Christian life is one of servitude and surrender, not personal gain.
That’s not to say that God doesn’t bless His children, but there are more biblical references to wealth being an issue for Christians than an expectation.
Just look to 1 Timothy 6:10, Matthew 6:19, 1 Timothy 6:17, Ecclesiastes 5:10, and the ever-famous Mark 10:23 : “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
There is nothing inherently wrong with wealth, but when your desire for wealth supersedes your ability to be content, you’re treading on very thin spiritual ice.
Instead, we are called to work hard and leave an inheritance for our children’s children. The ‘name it and claim it’ gospel simply isn’t biblical. In those cases where God does bless His children with wealth, it’s only going to be to those He can trust.
So while you’re praying for financial blessings, also pray that you are a vessel for His use.
Non-promise #5: An easy life.
Have you ever heard someone say, “God will not give you more than you can handle?” Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. I know I have.
It’s a way for us to justify what’s happening in our lives and think….it can’t get any worse.
The problem is that this assurance is found nowhere in scripture.
Some may refer to the 1 Corinthians 10:13 when it says God will not “tempt us beyond what we are able, but with the temptation will provide an escape so that we may be able to endure it.”
But it’s not referring to everyday life and faith challenges. The truth is, how are we supposed to grow unless given more than we can handle?
I go to the gym and lift weights regularly. The only way I get stronger is by lifting weights that I have difficulty handling.
God will often give us more than we can handle so that our reliance is on Him.
Why would we need to go to God if everything that came our way was something we could handle ourselves?
So don’t believe the lie that God helps those who help themselves. God actually helps those who’ve come to the end of themselves. I pray that’s you.
I realize there are some erroneous teachings in the church today. Be in the Word for yourself so you can stop hanging onto empty promises that God never said and you will be better equipped for the Christian life before you.