“Clickbait” is a form of writing that begs for your attention. Even though it’s largely hated by the internet community for being cryptic at best and lascivious at worst, clickbait keeps coming up because it works. Despite the fact we know what it’s doing to us, we click anyway.
Don’t worry; Redeeming Culture isn’t turning into BuzzFeed. But there are hundreds of amazing and beautiful verses in the Bible that people just look right past without thinking about them; maybe if they were rephrased to attract the eye like clickbait does, we would realize how absolutely shocking they are. And they might just change our lives, restore our faith in humanity (or at least our faith in God), leave us in tears, and make us grin from ear to ear. So, without further ado…
1. This country was kidnapped from their homes for 70 years. Here’s why that’s a good thing.
The Verse: Jeremiah 29:10-14
The Setup: The Israelites had rebelled against God by worshiping idols, so God allowed an evil race to capture the Israelites and carry them off to Babylon in chains.
The Promise: God tells the Israelites in the midst of this misery, “I have a plan for you in all of this, to give you hope and a future. In my timing, I will bring you back and restore to you all that is lost. And then I will bring you home.”
Why it matters to you: Because of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross, no pain or misery in our life is in vain. The pain changes us, and maybe even those around us, for the better. And in the end—perhaps in this life, but definitely in the next—you’ll be able to look back and say with the apostle Paul that “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV) I don’t know how. And though it seems daunting and impossible that anything good could come from what is happening to you now, that’s what makes it a promise. God has a plan for you that will make even this horrible time seem like a “light, momentary affliction.” In the age to come, all of your deepest wounds will feel like a tiny scratch.
2. They were malicious and hateful toward Him. What he does to them will leave you in tears.
The Verse: Titus 3:3-7
The Setup: Foolish, malicious, and hateful are the words the Bible uses to describe our natural state, and a look around the world can confirm it. Paul tells Titus to remind his people of this.
The Promise: Paul also reminds him of an even greater truth: “though we were evil, Jesus gives us hope that, through His death, we aren’t just saved. We’re adopted. God makes us heirs; we were rebels, but He makes us family.”
Why it matters to you: Think about someone who wronged you; then imagine making them a part of your family. Adopting the thief who broke into your home, or the reckless driver who ran you off the road. As unthinkable as that is, it’s exactly what Jesus did for you on the cross! God looked down on you in your muck and filth and decided to adopt you as a part of His family in spite of all your spite. God could have just saved us and left us where we were, and it would have been more than we deserved; but instead, He chose to adopt us as full heirs to His kingdom. This is mind-blowing!
3. This one simple truth could have changed the lives of a whole generation of people.
The Verse: Deuteronomy 31:6
The Setup: The Israelites are freed from captivity in Egypt and led by God to a beautiful land, but afraid of the people there, they refuse to go in. So God allows them to wander aimlessly through the desert for an entire generation, and it’s finally time to go into the land promised to them.
The Promise: God encourages the people through Moses: “You won’t face any enemies stronger than God, and He’s going with you. He won’t leave you or turn His back on you. God is on your side and will fight for you.”
Why it matters to you: If you’ve been worried about something coming up in your life, don’t. God can help a tiny nation of wilderness-weary Israelites take over an entire country from the strong and powerful; He can surely give you the victory over whatever it is you’re dreading. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, God fights for you as one of His people. Don’t be afraid to take Him at His word. If He leads you to a river, cross it!
4. A question that will make you reconsider everything, and the answer that will blow you away.
The Verse: Romans 3:3-4
The Setup: The Jews were the chosen people of God for thousands of years before the arrival of Christ. Jesus Himself was a Jew. But in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, he knew that a lot of people would know the stories of unfaithful or cruel Jews, and wonder if they represented God.
The Promise: Paul says, “You’ve probably met bad people who claim the name of God. Do they represent Him? Absolutely not! God proves Himself to be faithful, righteous, and true. Even if every single person who claims to follow Him is a liar, God is true.”
Why it matters to you: We’ve all been wounded by people who claim to be God’s people. Whether it’s someone related to you or just some jerk in the church parking lot, there are plenty of people who align themselves with God’s followers who have hurt others in the name of God. But what Paul is saying here is that the unfaithfulness of men doesn’t nullify the faithfulness of God; He’s still faithful and true. While a Christian is supposed to act like Jesus, all of them fall short- but Christ is perfect, and proved it by His death on the cross.
5. This guy gives anyone a breathtaking opportunity that nobody knows about.
The Verse: Hebrews 4:15
The Setup: God is the King of the Universe; He is perfect and because of our sin, we’re unable to approach Him. We dare not bring our requests to Him while still covered by our sin.
The Promise: “Jesus is God, but He is also a human. By dying for our sins, He stands between us and God so that we can approach God at any time we want.”
Why it matters to you: It’s not just anyone who gets to approach the throne. When people beg to speak to a king, he decides who can approach and who gets stopped by big guys with pointy swords. And in this verse, it says that Jesus goes in front of us and takes us to God—any time we want to. Jesus stands in the gap for us, providing the perfect life we could never live, dying the painful death we should have died, just so that we can go to God with our prayers and cares whenever we want. This is a beautiful, amazing opportunity that’s almost unbelievable- something we wouldn’t even dare to hope for. But His death means that it’s absolutely true.
You might notice that all of these promises lean heavily on the work of Jesus on the Cross. That’s not a coincidence. The Bible says that every single promise God ever made was given to us because of the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross. It’s the center of all history, and of every story. The sum total of human existence hinges on the death of Jesus Christ.
Don’t worry. Clickbait isn’t our thing here at Redeeming Culture; we would rather you think we’re interesting without cheap Facebook tricks. But if you believe those five promises above…I’m not exaggerating. It’ll change your life.
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Thanks for reading! If you’re curious about more of God’s promises, check out R.C. Sproul’s [amazon text=The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word&asin=1434704238]. If you buy it or any other Amazon item through that link, you’ll help support Redeeming Culture at no additional cost to you. Or check out our Redbubble page for some shirts and other items you’ll be excited to wear and use. Thank you!