Most of us, as Christians, have made the assertion at one point or another: the assertion that we’re “standing on the promises” of God. We have found some good thing, some delight that God has promised us, and we cling to it.
But, it seems that when things don’t go just right, we get bent out of shape. What we never realized was that we only seemed to stand on the good promises of God. But God isn’t faithful to only His good promises, but He makes good on His unpleasant ones as well.
The negative promises of God:
- While we are in this world, we will encounter tribulation. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
- If we live godly in Christ Jesus, we will be persecuted. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” -2 Timothy 3:12
- If we are the servants of Jesus, we shall be called evil and devilish. “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub [devil], how much more shall they call them of his household?” -Matthew 10:25
- We shall be hated by all men. “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.” -Matthew 10:22
Do we stand on God’s negative promises as well as His positive ones?
It’s a hard thing to actually look forward to suffering. But, if we can’t actually anticipate it, I believe, we must at the very least expect it. If we learn that God allows us to suffer because He loves us, our christian life takes on new meaning.
Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. -Luke 6:22-23
We must learn to welcome hardships, otherwise we can very easily be swallowed up in bitterness. And, not only to welcome hardships, but to earnestly expect them, for it is written: “we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).