Always ruffles my feathers when preachers promise more than they can produce. Wild assurances way beyond what God’s Word teaches. Know what I mean? I try to stick with the Bible, plain and simple. Keeping within its boundaries. That should be enough, shouldn’t it?
As a believer in Jesus Christ, I’ve seen the differences He’s made in my life… and for others. Creating new people. But let’s not get carried away. For then I’d have to do a good cover-up job. Make myself look better than I am. Being careful what I disclose, not allowing others to get too close. The cover-up becomes a snow job.
That’s where Scripture is helpful. Honest, but never to a fault. Transparent, even showing scars and welts. Some may think that being a Christian exempts them from life’s inevitable troubles. Or overconfident and cocky as if God will only bless us now that we’re on His team. Receiving special treatment, guaranteeing all His goodies. Wouldn’t that be nice? Not going to happen.
Of course, the Lord blesses us. In more ways than we realize. But Jesus alerts us– ‘In this world you will have trouble’ (John 16:33). We will? St. Paul gives an almost endless list of hardships he endures from following Jesus (1 Cor. 6:3ff). Not all candy and roses. What about the persecuted church today? They know about punishing times. I haven’t the foggiest. Not even a clue.
Why reference Zephaniah, this obscure Old Testament prophet? Well, he’s from God with a word we need to hear. Zephaniah warns ancient Israel about judgement to come. The Day of the Lord with accompanying destruction due to unrelenting sin by people who should have known better and acted accordingly.
However, glimmers of hope flicker in Zephaniah 2: 3–‘Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what He commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger’.
Seek the Lord. Come to Him. Humble yourself. Sit at His feet. Obey Him. And then what? ‘…perhaps…’
Perhaps… you’ll be sheltered and survive. Perhaps. No money-back guarantees. No false promises. No 10-year drivetrain warranties, either. Life may not always work out as we want it to. Perhaps… it doesn’t. Then what? Here’s where God’s promises overrule any of this perhaps-business.
They may kill the body, but the soul is secure with the Lord! May lose it here, but never there. His promise. Good enough? Is for me. All we’ll ever need. His Word. Even facing all of life’s uncertainties? Yes! Especially there.
Thank you, Lord, for confidence in Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen.