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Friday, August 24, 2018

What God Has Promised

Annie Johnson was born to Eldon and Jean Johnson on Christmas Eve of the year 1866 in Vineland, New
Jersey. Just three years later, Annie's mother died after giving birth to another baby girl. Mr.
Johnson took Annie and her sister to board with the widow of an old army comrade who had been killed
in the Civil War. The widow had two children of her own and had limited means. She begrudgingly
cared for the Johnson girls for two years.

There was a neighbor, however, that adored the Johnson girls. Though she was not a blood relative,
the girls would call her "Aunt Susie." Aunt Susie was a school teacher that boarded with the Flint
family near the school where she taught. Aunt Susie spoke so much about the Johnson girls that the
Flints looked into their situation and adopted them into their family. Mr. Johnson, who was
suffering at the time with an incurable disease that would soon end his life, was very pleased to
allow this loving, God-fearing family to adopt his daughters.

As Annie Johnson Flint grew up in the Flint home, she began to grow interested in writing poetry.
After completing high school, she became a teacher. She signed a contract to teach at a normal
school for three years. In the second year, she began to battle arthritis. Her arthritis became so
debilitating that she had great difficulty walking and struggled to complete her third year. It was
not long after that her adoptive parents passed away within only a few months of each other. Aunt
Susie came to the rescue and made arrangements for Annie to receive care in the Sanitarium at
Clifton Springs, New York. The doctors at the Sanitarium sought to help Annie but her arthritis
became crippling.

While at the Sanitarium, Annie was visited by a "little, tired, discouraged" lady who would tell her
troubles to Annie. When this "little lady" moved back west, she wrote to Annie telling her how
down-hearted she was and she didn't see why God allowed such difficult things to come into her life.
Annie responded with a poem entitled, "What God Hath Promised."

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 labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love.

No, God has not promised skies always blue with flower-strewn pathways all our lives through.

But God loves us so much that He gave His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we may
be saved from our sins and receive the gift of eternal life. Jesus died for us so that one day, we
may live forever in a place where there is no more suffering, pain, or death (Romans 6:23;
Revelation 21:4).

God has promised that He will save and give eternal life to those who place their faith and trust in
Jesus (Acts 16:30-31), turn from their sins in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus before men
(Romans 10:9-10), and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).
He has promised to continue to cleanse from sin those who continue to walk in the light of His Word
(1 John 1:7-9).

God has not promised that this life will be easy. But He has promised that something far better
awaits those who will trust and obey Jesus.

Won't YOU?

-- David A. Sargent

* Information gleaned from "Annie's Story" by Rowland V. Bingham,

Bible Memory Association International, as it appears on

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