Our Sins Are Washed Away, But The Consequences Stay With Us

“He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)

When I came to know Jesus, I thought my problems would disappear. After all, the burden of sin had been lifted from my shoulders. The sense of euphoria I felt initially placed an unrealistic expectation of what God would do for me. When I came down, I realized I had been forgiven. However, the consequences from all those sinful choices I made were still with me. What a bummer!

A lot of mature Christians occasionally fall into the same trap, too. One of the reasons is several of the television and radio ministries plant false hopes in the hearts and minds of Christians. They often twist Scripture to get you to donate to their ministries. Many of them will literally promise prosperity in exchange for your gift, and a lot of Christians give thinking the problems that trouble them will go away.

The truth is your wallet will be lighter, but your problems will stay with you. God’s promise to bless us for our faithfulness has nothing to do with the removal of whatever is going on in our life. He will love us through it, but that doesn’t mean he will lighten it or remove it.

In spite of what your favorite televangelist may tell you, there are five promises the Bible never makes:

1. Prosperity: The Bible views wealth very differently than the world views wealth. We can be both wealthy and penniless in the Lord’s eyes. 1 Samuel 2:7 says, “The Lord makes poor and makes rich.” Clearly, material wealth is never promised in the Bible. Perhaps we should take account of what we have rather than what we don’t have.

2. Good Health: Sickness and disease can come our way for many reasons. The Bible teaches that it can come from sin, the devil, old age, or just from the fact we are fallen beings with physical bodies prone to disease and sickness. The hard thing to square up is why does God allow us to suffer? I don’t have all the answers to that question. This truth reminds me that God is sovereign. So, when we suffer, he allows it to happen. There is always a purpose for it, and there is always an opportunity for me to grow in spite of it. Some of the most riveting testimonies I have heard from other believers is how extreme suffering brought them to a closer relationship with the Lord.

3. Salvation of Our Children: Wouldn’t it be great if we could get a package deal? The deal, however, is salvation is a personal choice by the individual. So, all those children who think they are going to heaven because their parents are saved or their grandfather was a pastor, are dead wrong.

4. Old Age: “The days of our lives are seventy years, and if by reason of strength they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10) I know what you’re thinking. “But seventy is today’s sixty.” Maybe, but in the Good Book, if we’re living past 70, we’re living on borrowed time.

5. Happiness: Joy is guaranteed. In fact, it is one of nine elements of the fruit of the spirit that Paul mentions in Galatians 5:22-23. But you won’t find happiness on the list. It is simply not promised.

The Bible contains thousands of promises and you count on God to deliver on each one of them. But there are at least five promises you will never find – at least not in the Bible. You can take His Word on it.

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