Monday, February 11, 2013

Promises About Nothing

It occurred to me yesterday, as I sat quietly, absorbing wisdom from God's word in the newness of the morning:  "Nothing" means something when it comes to God.  Promises are fulfilled by doing the nothing that He commands.  Nothing can also hold promise in and of itself.

While this may sound like the gibberish of an overtaxed mother who has lost her mind, read these verses from His Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, and you will see what I mean:

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23:1)

Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. (Psalm 34:9)

Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 

My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

(Psalm 73:25-26)
Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. (Psalm 119:165)

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. (Isaiah 40:23)

"Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

"For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open." (Luke 8:17)

"I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you." (Luke 10:19)

"Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made." (John 1:3)

"The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life."  (John 6:63)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."  (John 15:5)

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2-3)

Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as impostors; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.  (2 Corinthians 6:4-10)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  (Philippians 2:3-4)

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV)

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.  (Hebrews 4:13)

Anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble.  (1 John 2:10)

The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.  (Revelation 21:23-27)

All of these precious promises about nothing add up to quite something!  We can cling to these verses when our stamina is fading, the medical reports are looking hopeless, or the school challenges are relentless.  God's words speak life and empowerment into us.  When we can't, he assures us He can.  He hedges us in by warning us what to avoid in order to receive His best for us.  Love is the goal He spurs us on towards.  And He comforts us with the insight that nothing happens apart from His knowledge.  His justice reigns supreme.

PRAY:  Holy Lord, only You can make something of my nothing.  And when it seems as if nothing good will come to us, You redeem our circumstances.  Bring these loving promises to mind when life overwhelms me.

Unless otherwise indicated, all Bible verses taken from

New International Version (NIV)  Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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