As a speaker for God, not only do I face people who are hostile and have no belief, but I also have as much trouble from those who have too much belief. By that I mean they over-hype God. They make promises God never made in order to either make God look better or to make their own ministries seem worth supporting. Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference.
So it’s important for me, particularly as I am on this journey at The Gathering, dealing with disappointments, to talk about the 5 best things God never said, because most people deal with the over-hyping of God. If you reject the truth about what God offers and promises, that’s one thing. But if you’re confronted with an exaggeration, a religious promise that God never made, that’s another.
So far we’ve talked about the two best things God never said. God never said that you wouldn’t feel lonely, just that you would never be alone. And God never said that you would have all you wanted, just all that you’d ever need.
So here is the third best thing God never said. God never said you wouldn’t get hurt.
We have this idea that Jesus is like a lucky charm, a rabbit’s foot, a mantra that we can whisper when we’re in desperate situations. And He would somehow come and cover us so that we wouldn’t get hurt either physically, emotionally, mentally, or relationally.
So people turn prayer into a magic chant using Jesus as the secret formula. And when He doesn’t show up, when the hurt comes, when the bad news is delivered, when the husband walks away, or the child is killed, people are left angry; not just at the situation, but at a God who promised that if they would love Him and trust Him and be good and go to church and be generous, that they would be able to avoid the hurts that other people face.
So here is the truth. God never promised you wouldn’t get hurt, just that He would get you home safely. Remember, as a Christian, we have two citizenships: one, of this earth, and our mission is to make something beautiful and redemptive of our lives; and two, we are a citizen of the life to come – eternity where there, too, we’ll be making something of our lives. The journey from here to there is always a dangerous one no matter how good you are.
Yes, we do have God’s protection. We have His promises. But the application of that protection and those promises are strictly up to God. And that requires trust. And that is the issue, isn’t it? When we’re disappointed, it’s always a matter of trust. So God asks you to trust Him, that He’ll get you home safely; that while you’ll wander through dangerous neighborhoods and go through dark periods, He is not far away. Though He may be silent, He is not still. And though He may seem distant, He is ever present. He will get you home safely. You can count on that.