Promises

Promises

As we are going through life, and especially as we go through hardships, we need to have ourselves anchored in two things: one is the character of God, and the other is His promises. Both of these are revealed in the word of God. Pastor Jay often reminds us that we need to rest on the promises of God, but to do that we need to know what these are. And we need to know who it is that made those promises, because we’ve all had experiences with people who promise us things then never follow through. We need to know, believe, and experience that God’s character is such that we can depend on any promise God has made is as good as fulfilled, because that is just how sure and true His word is; that is how faithful He is.

This song begins with the character of God and how He has been faithful to His promises and covenant throughout His ways with mankind. “Time and again” He has indeed “proven [He’ll] do just what [He] said.” He stakes His reputation on the keeping of His word. And He honors those people who honor Him with the faith that He will do all of what He said He would. No promise of blessing or judgment is ever made emptily. We limit our hope and our power in life when we don’t know what He has promised, or fail to believe that He is faithful to bring it to pass.

Hebrews 11 tells us that Sarah, who was 90 years old and well past childbearing age, was enabled to have Isaac because “she considered Him faithful who had made the promise” (v. 11). So, we see demonstrated here faith in both the character and the promises of God, enabling God to work in powerful ways for His glory, in the life of an ordinary yet extraordinary woman. She would be just another unknown ancestor if not for her faith in a faithful God, allowing Him to work through her to demonstrate His glorious character, unwavering dependability, and matchless power. What could He do through us if we, too, would cling in faith to His character and promises revealed in His word?

The wonderful news for us is that this same God doesn’t just keep His promises to special people. He is a Promise-Keeper by nature, and He is unchanging and unchangeable and will always remain Faithful and True; it is His nature; it is His name upon His return to this earth (Rev. 19:11). At that point every one of His children will be able to join in the refrain of this song, “Great is Your faithfulness to me!” for each of us will have a testimony of His steadfast love and goodness throughout our lives, and the evidence of how He has fully kept each of His promises to us. He has promised that even though the earth will pass away, His word will not pass away—not ever!

Do you believe that? Do you know His character? Do you know His promises? Do you trust His character and His promises? Over and over again we see people in the Bible who were faced with insurmountable odds and the first thing they did was to look to the character and promises of God, and declare them to Him, and God delivered them. But we also see examples of people who should have known better, but didn’t trust in God or His word and suffered the consequences (2 Chron. 20; Daniel 9; 2 Kings 19; 2 Chron. 16:12; 28:21-23; 2 Kings 1:15-16).

The truth is God has promised us that we would have trouble in this fallen, sin-ruined world. Every one of us will find ourselves in times when faith in the character and promises of God will define how we face those challenges and hardships. Everyone…everyone gets their boats rocked, but the ones who have God as their anchor will find their boats righted more quickly than those who don’t. The more we trust in the wonderful character of God and base our faith on His word, the quicker we will steady our boats, even in the face of the fiercest of storms.

One of the characteristics of someone who trusts in the character and promises of God is they are people who cultivate a heart of praise. Speaking or singing praise in the face of our battles testifies to the Lord of our trust in Him. It testifies to ourselves that we are indeed trusting in His character and nature in spite of our trial. It even testifies to the unseen spiritual dimension around us that we have faith in our God, and promotes praise in the watching angels who look on in wonder that even in times of hardship God’s people still praise Him. It silences the enemy who constantly tempts us to doubt God’s goodness and power, especially when things aren’t going as we’d wish; then accuses us to the Father when our faith seems to be wavering. When we praise God anyway, it takes the fiery darts out of the enemy’s hands and turns them back on him. Just as with Job, we can avoid sinning by avoiding blaming God or turning from Him in our times of disaster (Job 1:22).

Let me encourage you to listen to this song a few times and let the truth of God’s nature and promises wash over you, and bring forth your own praise of His faithfulness to you. Make it your intention to learn more about God’s character and attributes, as well as what He has promised in His word; take these to heart, arming yourself for the battles you will surely face. They will be a treasure, an anchor, and an impenetrable armor that no one can take from you.