Sometimes, the Scriptures aren’t encouraging. A few weeks ago, I sat nervously in an airport waiting to board my plane. I flipped open my Bible, seeking a bit of encouragement to still my pounding heart. My eyes fell on the first verse I found in the book of Isaiah 66:4. “I will bring upon them what they dread” (NET). I closed my Bible and repeated the verse. “Well, I guess I’m going to die in a plane crash today,” I thought.
But I didn’t.
I believe there is great peace that comes from Scripture we have memorized and stored in our hearts for seasons of unrest, but sometimes we want to cling to verses that simply aren’t intended for us.
You see, the Scriptures aren’t about us; they are about God. It’s natural for us to believe that we are the center of everything, so we approach the Word of God with the same perspective. The Word of God is intended to teach us more about Him.
I know I am guilty of highlighting a single verse and clinging to it for dear life. Take this verse for example, “God is within her, she can not fall” (Psalm 46:5, NIV). The first time I saw that verse on a t-shirt, I wanted to buy one in every color. I looked it up to find this golden promise that had a Scripture reference attached to it. I wanted it to be a promise from God that, no matter what, I would not fail.
Unfortunately, when I researched it a bit, I learned that the “her” in the verse is actually Israel. Standing all alone, the verse was one I wanted to attach to everything I do, but with a little bit of study, I quickly realized it was not what I thought.
A couple of years ago, I was in the midst of a difficult season. On one particular afternoon, I searched God’s Word for encouragement, for something to cling to. This time, instead of verses of hope, He continued to lead me to verses that talked about destruction. Each verse of destruction also highlighted that the Lord would redeem. The Lord would rescue. You see, it was about Him, not me.
He was preparing me because that situation turned out to be actually hopeless. The Scripture revealed truth instead of offering a false hope. Now, I know that, ultimately, all things will work for good. That is a biblical promise, but that does not mean there won’t be some tough spots along the way.
Friend, this is important. We must share the good—and the bad—with the world. If we promise them only goodness, prosperity, health, and wealth, then we are failing them. By failing to address the difficult times that even we as Christians suffer, we give them a faith with no roots. The first bit of adversity will blow them right back out into the world.
We must recognize that God’s promise is that He will never leave us despite the storms that come our way.
The promise is NEVER that the storms won’t come.
The Scripture is so much more than just slogans we hang on our walls. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on sprinklesinmycloset.wordpress.com.
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