So when you read the title, did you immediately picture a charming little scene of one child saying this to another? Hands on hips, chin jutting out, smirk on face…with the sing-songy lyric, “I toooolllldddd you sooooo!” Oh man, did I get in trouble if I ever said this to one of my siblings, or worse…if I said it to my Mom! Yikes! Just had to happen once and that swat cured me for life….or at least within earshot of my mother.
Today, I want to linger on this phrasing in a positive way. The Lord Jesus tells us, in so many words, “I told you so” in a variety of circumstances throughout His word. A more “biblical” way to say it is in all of the “I will” statements the Lord makes. It is really exciting to me whenever I read the words “I will” because I know that if the Lord said it, He WILL do it! Most of these verses are positive, but there are some that are in a tone of warning. But the same is true for both statements ~ what He says He will do…He WILL DO IT!
As early as in Genesis chapter 2, the Lord tells Adam that He will create for him a special helpmate…and He created Eve (vs. 18). Throughout the entire book of Genesis, you can read mulitple accounts of God saving those who worship Him, destroying the earth He made because the people had become so evil, God promising Abraham & Sarah that they would have a child from whom a multitude of descendants would come from including Jesus, God comforting His people when they were discouraged, the promise of new land ~ and that’s just in Genesis!
Of course, the “I will” promises are much easier to take to heart but we have got to be fully aware of the “I will” warnings. We cannot simply go through life taking scripture out of context because it makes us “feel good.” We cannot twist things around that are meant to be a warning into some kind of proof that we can do whatever we want because Jesus has said that once we confess our sin and our need for a Savior, that He will save us.
Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely and wholeheartedly believe that once we are saved by Jesus Christ, we do not lose our salvation. We do not have to repeat the salvation prayer, “just in case” it didn’t work the first time. In the same vein, we cannot ever do anything to earn our salvation either. Only the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can do that.
The Lord brings us to Him to be saved, not so we can remain living in our sinful ways…so we can become like Him. The world is so backwards right now saying that Christians aren’t fair. True, there are some who call themselves christian and act nothing like the Lord teaches. And it is true that Jesus will accept everyone exactly as they are. However…Jesus will not abide by us STAYING exactly as we were. He calls us to Himself to learn who HE is and how we can mirror His character.
We cannot be a light to the world if we haven’t changed our power source!
Let’s go to the scripture so you can see a few verses showing some of God’s “I Will’s…”
Romans 9:14-16 (HCSB) says, “What should we say then? Is there injustice with God Absolutely not! For He tells Moses: I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it does not depend on human will or effort but on God who shows mercy.”
I love this because it reminds us that there is nothing that we can do on our own human efforts to change God’s mercy, blessings, grace, or discipline…it will be done as He sets forth.
Genesis 17:2 (HSCB) shows what God the Father says to Abram (aka Abraham after this blessing is spoken over him) when He calls him to leave his comfort zone, “I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you greatly.” And He did. There were definite hurdles in the story (if you haven’t read it, go now and see how even though Abraham tried to hurry up God’s plan, God still had the final say on it all!)
Psalms 91:14-15 (HSCB), is a promise from the Old Testament as to how God will act toward His people when they believe in Him, “Because he is lovingly devoted to Me, I will deliver him;
I will protect him because he knows My name. When he calls out to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble. I will rescue him and give him honor.” Even when we feel we are not being heard by God, or answered by Him, He does in fact hear our every cry. He is in tune with our hearts because He loves us. Remain connected with your Savior and trust that He has your best at heart.
Jeremiah 30:11 (HSCB), (spoken to Israel and Judah through the prophet Jeremiah after the Lord freed them from captivity) “For I will be with you— this is the Lord’s declaration— to save you! I will bring destruction on all the nations where I have scattered you; however, I will not bring destruction on you. I will discipline you justly, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.” The Lord God does not take joy in disciplining us, but because He loves us so much He will do what is needed. Our lives are to be a reflection of Him and if we are not living out what scripture teaches then we are not representing Him properly to the world.
I love this verse in Isaiah 41:10 (HSCB) because it is a faithful reminder to me that as a believer, I have the power of the living God inside me and I can trust that what the Lord says here in scripture is true, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.”
On the other hand, Matthew 7:23 (HSCB) reminds us that those who choose in this life to ignore the authority of Jesus Christ and the fact that they need a Savior, He will have no choice on the day of Judgement but to say, “Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!'” It is difficult to think of this sometimes, but the world has an opportunity every day to choose Christ and choose to serve Him. When we do choose Him, Matthew 10:32-33 (HCSB) tells us what we will hear, “Therefore, everyone who will acknowledge Me before men, I will also acknowledge him before My Father in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father in heaven.”
John 14:27-29 (HSCB) speaks beautifully to the peace that only God can give us. While John 4:14 (HCSB) shares the promise of the New Testament that the living water of Christ will well up in our soul. Matthew 11:28-30 (HCSB) provides the encouragement that following the Lord is the best way to become unburdened.
Perhaps one of the best “I will” statements that the Lord makes in Scriputre is found in Mark 14:36 (HCSB). “And He said, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” Even now as I read this it brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Because Jesus showed us that His heart was breaking for the task ahead, He ultimately was letting us know that the will of the Father is what is the most important to follow. Jesus chose to live a human life that was destined for death in order to bring us eternal life that we don’t deserve.
As you read the Bible in your quiet times ahead, look out for those “I will” phrases (the “I told ya so’s). You will never find a promise that is unfulfilled. You will never find a contradiction of God’s love and grace for us. Rest in His promises!
* (HCSB) ~ Holman Christian Study Bible version *