Have you ever had someone make a promise to you that they wouldn’t, or couldn’t, keep? It’s kind of like when I was young and one of my peers would promise that they would do something outlandish for me, only to reveal that they had their fingers crossed the whole time; we would all laugh and try to trick one another with this little game.
Do you ever wonder if God does that with us? Does He ever say just the thing we want to hear, only to reveal later that He’s had his fingers crossed the whole time? Perhaps God’s beautiful promises are merely great intentions gone awry in the face of real life, or just playful trickery and wishful thinking…or are they??
Trust in the Promise
It can be extremely difficult to trust God’s promises, like when He says that all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Rom. 8:28)
Really?? Even in the face of:
What about the promise that God will never leave us, nor forsake us? (Heb. 13:5)
Really?? Even in the face of:
What about the promise of forgiveness for my sins if I confess and believe? (Rom 10:9; I John 1:9)
Really?? Even my sins of:
So how do we make a conclusion about the certainty of those promises? Just like we do in the rest of life, we should observe the trustworthiness and strength of the Promiser.
We must ask these two questions?
Is God trustworthy when He promises?
Is God strong enough to accomplish what He promises?
One helpful passage is 2 Chronicles 13:1-22. In this passage, King Abijah, a descendent of King David, goes up against the rebel usurper Jeroboam and his great army. Jeroboam’s men outnumber Abijah’s two to one and surround the King of Judah’s forces. Abijah confidently claims a promise God made to his forefather David, that one of his descendants would reign as king and be protected and blessed by God.
In a dramatic turn of events, God destroys Jeroboam’s stronger and better positioned army and routs his men before Abijah. The text focuses on God’s commitment to uphold his covenant with David and David’s descendants. We find out in the following chapters that Abijah was not a blameless man, simply one who trusted the promise God had made to his ancestor.
Rest in the Promiser
God has the perfect track record in the Scriptures when it comes to His promises; He is completely trustworthy. In fact, there is still an heir to the Davidic throne who is alive, and will be exalted above all the nations. Jesus Christ, the true son of David, has come and is alive and will someday reign as king over the whole earth. Now, He rules a spiritual kingdom, and His rule extends to all who have trusted in Him. This promise was fulfilled, both in Abijah’s time and in ours!
God is also fully capable to complete what He has promised; He is completely strong. Even armies cannot stop God’s Word. Military advantage cannot stop God’s Word. Not even our own sinfulness and failures can thwart God’s promises!
Just like Abijah, you may think that the odds are against you and that it would take a miracle to produce life from your current situation. I would encourage you to remember the promises of God toward you and believe in God’s great love and provision for you. Even when you don’t see how God could come through, the good news is that the fulfillment of the promise does not rest with the one promised, but issues from the faithfulness and strength of the Promiser.
And God always keeps his promises!