The outlook this morning was grey, cold, and damp, with a mist rolling in off the sea. In the distance you could hear the sound of the foghorn. Where was the late spring sunshine? There was no inspiration from the sea views today. But it did remind me of an old poem which starts with the line, God has not promised skies always blue…
God Has Not Promised Skies Always Blue
I learnt this ‘poem’ as a child and I have a confession to make, I learnt it because I was bored sitting in Chapel. We went to Chapel on a Sunday morning, and we were expected to sit quietly through the service. One Sunday the sermon seemed to be particularly long and difficult to understand. But my Mum had these two verses on a bookmark in her Bible. In an effort to entertain myself I started memorizing the words.
God Has Not Promised Skies Always Blue Poem
God has not promised skies always blue, Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through. God has not promised sun without rain, Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God has promised strength for the day, Rest for the labour, light for the way, Grace for the trials, help from above, Unfailing sympathy, undying love. Annie Johnson Flint
That might seem like a strange thing for a child to do. But even at a young age I liked the words and the images that they created in my mind. This little poem makes a powerful declaration of faith. And I later found out that this poem is in fact the beginning of a much-loved hymn for many people.
It is true God has not promised skies always blue. Sometimes the warmth of the sun is obscured from our sight by dark clouds or grey mist. But you know living by the coast we learn how quickly things can change! So often the day may start with dismal grey skies but by mid-morning the mist will blow away. Then we see the blue skies and the sunshine that have been there all along – just hidden from our view.
What God Has Promised – Seven Things!
There are times when our problems seem overwhelming, and we can feel as if we are struggling on our own. It is true, God has not promised skies always blue. There will be times when those black cloud rolls in and the threat of a storm hangs over us. But just as the blue skies are still there, even if we can’t see them, God’s presence is always with us. It is in the difficult times that we remind ourselves of what God has promised so that we live by faith, and not by sight.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise – in God I trust and am not afraid.”Psalm 56:3-4
It is in those fearful times that we learn with God we need not fear. And so often it is in dark difficult times that we learn with God there is peace, even in the height of a storm.
These beautiful words from Anne Johnson Flint remind us of seven things God has promised to those who love Him. Our hope, when it is based on the truth of God’s word brings inner confidence. That’s not self-confidence, but an assurance of God’s faithfulness every day whatever the weather.
Strength For the Day
“The Lord gives strength to his people” Psalm 29:11
We can gain reassurance from Scripture that God will provide us with all that we need. No matter how we may feel, God will renew our strength. We can face whatever the day may bring from a place of security and safety with the Lord.
Rest From our Labor
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart , and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28
God has provided rest for us. He set the pattern of physical rest with the Sabbath and to follow what God ordained is simple self-care. Our Heavenly Father knows that we all need time off to be refreshed. But Jesus has also promised that in Him we will find rest for our souls. He is our place of emotional and spiritual rest when we commit to walking in step with Him.
Light For the Way
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105
It is only when the cloud closes in that we learn, that with God, there is always enough light for the next step. As we move forward, and take a step of faith, we learn to put our trust in God. In that place of trust, we find we need not be afraid because He is with us and His word is our guide.
Grace For the Trials
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
God has promised that His grace is sufficient. In the middle of trials, we can have peace that God will enable us. That perspective is inspiring. In fearful times we learn, that with God, our weaknesses provide the opportunity for God to move. So often, it is only when we let go, when we reach the end of ourselves, that God’s power is revealed.
Help From Above
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
God has not promised skies always blue, but He has promised that He is our safe place. Through any, or all, of life’s trials and difficulties God is ever-present. That means He is with us all the time. And not just by our side, but there to provide all the help and strength that we need.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
God is compassionate, it is part of His character of who He is. There are many Scriptures that describe the character of God as compassionate. But this verse refers to Him as the Father of compassion. God’s unfailing sympathy flows from His love and compassionate nature. When we are in need of comfort there is only one place to go – God is the one who will never fail to comfort us!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
God’s love for us is eternal, and His precious gift to all who receive and believe in Jesus. Reflecting on God’s good promises has the power to change the way that we are feeling. The truth of God’s love is transforming.
If you’d like a reminder of these sweet but powerfully true words, then you can download a free PDF here: