False promises make the coziest security blankets.
It’s not hard to see why. False promises like “God will make our long-distance relationship work” comfort us with the illusion that we can control the future simply by speaking about it confidently.
The reality, however, is that only God’s words secure the future. And the uncomfortable truth is that he never promises a long-distance relationship will last.
You know this, of course. While we can trust God’s promise that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28), we can’t piece together own definition of “good.” The next verse says that “good” is whatever it takes to conform you into “the image of his Son,” not whatever it takes to make your relationship survive.
Yet if there’s one thing I’ve learned about my sinful nature, it’s that my heart likes to pocket false promises that my mind threw out years ago.
The Premise of the False Promise
For me, the failure to debunk false promises is rarely a result of poor judgment. More often than not, the culprit is an ugly sense of entitlement.
Maybe you and your boyfriend have dated for three years. You’ve endured endless difficulties because of distance. Maybe you even moved to a new city to live closer to him.
You look at everything you’ve sacrificed and every challenge you’ve overcome, and you think, “How could God not lead our relationship toward marriage?”
These expectations, however, aren’t rooted in the Bible. The more we suffer, the more we think our sacrifices have earned us the right to expect something good from God.
But you don’t have that right. None of us do. The false premise behind almost every false promise is, “I deserve good things from God.”
Without Christ, we are criminals guilty of a foolishly arrogant rebellion against the King of the universe. We don’t deserve the unconditional love of God, and we certainly don’t deserve the romantic love of a spouse. As the saying goes, “Everything north of hell is grace.”
The Fall of the False Promise
I don’t usually realize I’m clinging to a false promise until it fails. That’s when the suffering really begins.
Why? The more you curl up to lies crafted by Satan, the harder it is to remember the promises God really has made.
Forgetting God’s eternal promises is a self-made tragedy waiting to happen. False promises may offer temporary psychological comfort, but they’re absent of any real spiritual power. The words of God in the Bible are the only words that can sustain you through any difficulty.
Have you been trusting in a false promise? If so, the safest place to land with your grief is in God’s Word. Commit to learning his promises with all your heart, and discovering God so personally that you cannot forget his awesome attributes.
A great place to begin is Psalm 119:9-16. Let it be your prayer as you seek to dig your roots into God’s true promises.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.”