What God Promises--Presence

We’re continuing our series on the creeping prosperity gospel. Last week, we explored “what God doesn’t promise.” This week, we're switching gears, exploring what has been promised. I have searched the scriptures, and though I could bend a verse or two to create a doctrinal point ("ask and it will be given..."), I am left with one overarching sense--Christ has promised his presence.

I was drawn particularly to the passages in John 14. In a Christian culture that is overly saturated with orphan-care causes (and yes, I have my own favorite), Jesus takes a moment to remind us that we are the orphans. And what does he promise us, the orphans?

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live you always will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you." ~John 14:18-20

Presence. But he doesn't stop there.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. ~John 15:25

Presence.

"...I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you." ~John 15:15

Presence.

This week, you'll be hearing from those who've earned the street-cred of suffering. If God were a genie, he would have come from his lamp to change their respective outcomes. If God were a "cosmic vending machine," he'd have dispensed chocolate instead of something other. But instead, he's different. He's a "friend," who promises presence, peace.

Take in the stories this week. Interact with the writers. They're some good, good folks.

And for today, won't you join us? What are the promises on which you lean? Share them with us in the comments.