In Great Britain we’re on the edge of a General Election. The election manifestos are full of promises. These political promises are guarantees made to the public by politicians who’re trying to win the election. Each politician is promising what various groups of people want, two of the latest promises being protection for Christians holding to the biblical understanding of marriage, and favour for Muslims.
But the promises made by politicians have been increasingly viewed with scepticism, due to the track record of politicians in breaking them once in office. This is because they’ve made promises they can’t keep.
Unlike our politicians, God is the great Promise Keeper. He’s made hundreds of promises in Scripture. In each promise God pledges that something will, or will not, be done, given or come to pass. These promises are sincere, and every one of them will be fulfilled because God can’t lie. (Hebrews 6:18).
He doesn’t promise what we want, but what He knows is right and best. He never has and never will break a promise. Every promise is sealed by His power to fulfil it and His eternal character. ‘Since the creation of the world His invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen’ (Romans 1:20).
There are two sides to the fulfilment of a promise; firstly the ability of the one who makes it to carry it through, and secondly the willingness of the one to whom it’s made to receive it. A promise is of little value unless it’s received. However familiar we are with the promises of God in the Bible they only affect our lives when we believe they’re true and receive them by faith. There are hundreds of promises so let’s consider just a few.
God promised the gift of salvation, the greatest gift of all, to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16-17). He promised that, in whatever circumstances enter our lives, He works for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Whether we’re going through good or bad times God is good all the time. Receiving this promise can keep us from being overwhelmed when difficulties invade us.
God has promised that He’ll ‘never leave us nor forsake us’ (Hebrews 13:5). This means He’ll never fail us, give up on us, leave us helpless, or let us down. God has promised to ‘meet all our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ’ (Philippians 4:19) so we need not worry and be concerned for the future. God promises His children that they won’t be overcome with temptation to sin (1 Corinthians 10:13), because He promises that, in Christ, we’re ‘more than conquerors’.
Possibly the main reason we have for failing to live in the reality of God’s promises is that we don’t comprehend the wonder of His divine nature. In the secret place of our hearts, when we doubt God, there’s often an unspoken core belief that He’s other than He is. Maybe we think He’s as we are, or like someone who’s treated us badly.
To truly surrender our lives and trust our Heavenly Father we need to know Him as He is. And the nature of God is made clear throughout the Bible. Above all it’s made clear in the person of Jesus who said ‘I and the Father are one’ (John 10:30).
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that in a world of uncertainties and broken promises You’re the Rock Eternal and Your promises will never be broken. Forgive me for the times I’ve failed to trust Your promises and Your word. I ask for a fresh revelation of Jesus, in whom all Your promises are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’. Thank You, Father, for the joy and peace which is mine as I stand upon Your promises and lean not on my own understanding. Amen.
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