Growing up, I remember the power of a promise. It really meant something to me…I’d promise my friend that I’d have his back always…make a promise to do my best in the big game…I’d always promise my grandmother that I’d really listen when she was talking…but when and where did the idea of a promise lose its significance? I mean, do you really trust the promises you now see on every ad and every commercial? Is that the cause for the basic breakdown of trust? Honestly, I think it’s deeper than that…more than a thinly veiled marketing effort. It can seem like people today make promises they just can’t keep or sometimes have no intention of keeping. They write checks they can’t cash. They take a vow that they’ll love you forever but then leave…but hear me in this my friends, that’s not the case with God. You see, God is a promise maker and a promise keeper.
Lee Strobel, author of “A Case for Christ,” shared that the driving force for his desire to prove that God didn’t exist was that he had such a bad relationship with his earthly father that he could never accept the idea of a Heavenly one. It was on his journey to dig up evidence disproving God’s existence that he actually encountered and accepted our Savior, Jesus Christ. Strobel stated that “Anchoring our hope to Christ means we live with a confident expectation that he will therefore fulfill his promises to us.”
Our heavenly Father has made 1,000 promises in the Bible, but if we’re being honest, we first struggle with the idea of trust! Can we really trust Him? Why should we believe these promises when it seems like our prayers are never answered the way we want? Are these promises even for me?!?!
Consider these three questions when you’re trying to figure out if these promises apply to you and/or your circumstances:
1. Is this promise limited to a certain person or issue…or is the promise for all? God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah in Genesis about the birth of their child is specific to them, but it says in Hebrews God’s promise is that He will be with us forever when we have put our trust in Him…the hope of eternal life with Him.
2. Are you asking for a need or a desire? Let’s be honest, many times we can find ourselves praying for a promise of God’s provisions to fulfill a desire…something we want to enjoy, experience, own, or to satisfy us, but a need is something that we really must have in order for God to complete His work in our lives. If we lose our job, then an essential, our source of income, is now gone. That’s different than if we just want a new position because we want to make more money, because we think we’ve earned it, or feel like it’s owed to us. That is a desire, not a need.
3. Have you thought that maybe, before God will fulfill a promise, He is first requiring some action from you? The Bible is filled with stories of the need to let go of something first before you can move to the next. What are you holding onto and not willing to let go of because you’re scared of the unknown? Can you trust Him to really fulfill His promise to you?
Maybe you first consider you really believe that God is for you! Reflect back…do you believe that God cares for you and loves you unconditionally through all of the good and bad? If so, why do you think He wouldn’t keep His promises to you?!
Consider what Romans 8:31 says to you about this very thing - “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.”
God values His relationship with you, but you really can’t fully appreciate that until you come to realize how truly invested He is in keeping His promises to you. Really listen to the heart of Romans 8:32 - “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?” God’s will is to save us from our sin…our unfulfilling lives. He knows our needs before we can even form the words. He didn’t hesitate to put His own Son on the line to make our salvation a reality and at great cost. After giving so much, God would never refuse to follow through, even in the smallest ways, that which He’s already done perfectly and completely for us in Christ.
Paul shares with us that he tested promises in his own life and found them all to be abundantly true. That’s why he could speak of the “exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”(Ephesians 2:7), and the “unsearchable riches of Christ” (Ephesians. 3:8). I think that these verses can be misunderstood when read through the filter of today’s economy vs. God’s heavenly and eternal perspective of what are truly “riches” that will last.
Paul experienced God’s promises and enjoyed them all in abundance but please don’t become discouraged or impatient if you’re not experiencing the fullest of God’s promises in your own life in the way you expected, when you expected. God just may be preparing you first to receive His truths before they become available to you. Seek Him, walk with Him, and in time, you’ll see Him bring His promises, His perfect plan specifically for you come to fruition!
I found these words to be a prayer in my own life first before they ever became lyrics to a song. Take time to read these words, take them to heart, and reflect back on your own life journey. Pray to your Heavenly Father, trusting first in His everlasting, unconditional love, and then trusting in His 1,000 PROMISES!
I've got a 1,000 promises
I know You're not done yet
Every word that You've ever spoken
To the end won’t be broken
I've got everything You’ve said
Reminding me again
You complete everything You start
Keep speaking to my heart
1,000 promises over and over