He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature. — 2 Peter 1:4
God’s promises are precious, magnificent, and have extreme value. The author of Hebrews admonishes us with these words:
Do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. — Hebrews 10:35-36
Notice he says, “When you have done the will of God.” Promises are not given without a plan that involves faith and responsibility, though many times we have to wait for them to be revealed. A biblical promise is a declaration of God’s intention to graciously bestow a gift upon an individual or a group of people. For example, Jesus said,
In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. — John 14:2-3
He knows that at times we may feel tempted to wonder if He is really coming back for us, and so He gives us the promise of His sure return and also of His personal care to reassure us and calm our fears.
In 1 Kings, we read where Solomon has been praying. In fact, he has been blessing the Lord for His faithfulness. Then he makes this statement:
Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised; not one word has failed of all His good promise, which He promised through Moses His servant. — 1 Kings 8:56
God did exactly what He had promised to do, and Solomon was honoring the Lord by acknowledging it. He had a grateful heart, and he wanted the people to respond in gratitude also.
How many times have you prayed for something, asking God to meet a need that you have and to speak to you through His Word, and as you read the Bible, He provided assurance that He heard your prayers and will answer? This is a tremendous gift. But instead of turning to Him with a grateful heart, did you pick up the telephone and call three or four people to tell them the news? So often we forget to thank the One person who provides the resources we need. I believe God’s heart must hurt over our self-centered actions. We pray and trust Him and then forget to say, “Lord, thank You for answering my prayers. Thank You for being faithful to the promise You gave me in Your Word. Thank You for meeting my needs perfectly and on time.”
Even those who encountered Jesus during His time here on earth neglected to thank Him:
While [Jesus] was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine — where are they? — Luke 17:11-17
Nine of these men met the Savior-Healer (Psalm 103:3), but they never thought to thank God or worship Him for His healing.
Hebrews 10:23 reminds us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” God is not going to give you a promise and then say, “You know, maybe I didn’t mean that.” And when He does answer, He wants us to give Him glory and praise because He truly has worked on our behalf.
When He gives us a promise, we can be sure He will do what He has said.
It is a matter of demonstrating His character and nature to us. Believing God, trusting God, studying His Word, and applying it to your life are elements of the Christian faith that must work together. God is not going to operate one way one day and then another way the next. What He tells us in His Word will always line up with His nature and character. God is faithful. Therefore, His Word is trustworthy and His promises are too. He is faithful to keep every one. Not one promise will fail — ever. People will say one thing and then go and do something else. Many will be kind and supportive in your presence but later will oppose you. But God never will. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). That is a promise you can claim!
Why does God choose to give promises to you and me? He wants us to learn something about His character.
God is faithful, true, loving, patient, forgiving, kind, and so much more. He gives promises to us so that we will see His nature and learn deeper truths about His character and personal care for us.
You may have a definite need and wonder what God is going to do. You have prayed and asked Him to give you His wisdom. While studying His Word, you find yourself reading the following:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. — Proverbs 3:5-6
Is this a promise you can claim? Absolutely. God is saying, “I’m aware of what you are facing. I know your need. Trust Me, lean on Me and not on your human knowledge, and I will provide all that you need and so much more.” Paul underscores this very thing when he writes,
My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:19
In 1 Thessalonians, he simply tells us,
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. — 1 Thessalonians 5:24
God is honored and glorified when we trust Him and when we pray, “Lord, show me in Your Word a promise that I can cling to in this trying time.” There is not a time when God refuses to answer the prayers of His people. He says call to Me and I will hear your voice (Jeremiah 33:3).
He wants to give us hope. All of us are encouraged when we know that someone is pulling for us — someone who wants us to cross the finish line victoriously. You may be able to think of a time when you did not know whether you were doing the right thing or not. Then someone you admired walked up to you and said, “God has placed you on my heart, and I want you to know that I’m praying for you.”
God wants you to know that He cares for you.
He is cheering for you, and He has a plan for your life. Psalm 62:1–2 says,
My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.
And Psalm 18:33–36 promises,
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, and Your right hand upholds me; and Your gentleness makes me great.
You enlarge my steps under me, and my feet have not slipped.
God is faithful to keep each and every promise. He is all powerful, and we can trust Him to take care of all that concerns us. The prophet Isaiah emphasizes His power and majesty:
Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these stars, the One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, not one of them is missing. — Isaiah 40:26
Not only does God take care of the heavens, He personally watches over you and me. Why do people doubt God’s ability? Usually we fail to trust God because we don’t want to lose control over our lives or our circumstances. This is almost laughable because the God of the universe — the same God who created you and me and who has numbered the stars in the sky and holds each one in its place — certainly has the ability to take care of my life and my problems.
In Lamentations, Jeremiah writes,
This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I have hope in Him’. — Lamentations 3:21-24
No matter what your circumstance, God’s Word has a promise of hope waiting for you.
You can try to figure out a way to encourage yourself, or you can say with the psalmist,
But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. — Psalm 71:14
He wants to develop our faith in Him. When we begin to trust God for simple answers to prayer, our faith increases. The more we read and study His Word, the more aware we become of His ability. One lesson learned at the feet of God builds on another until we have come to a point where we are talking through every decision we need to make with Him. We also discover that if we ask Him to show us what we should do, He does it! He speaks to us through His Word. Then, when we meditate on Scripture, we begin to internalize His truth in our hearts. From this point, we express our needs and God responds by giving us insight and wisdom. He also promises to move in certain ways and provide for the needs we have.
Whatever God calls us to do, He will confirm it in His Word and He also will provide all that we need to accomplish the task. This is how our faith is built. He opens a door and we step through it. He opens another one, and once again we trust Him because we have learned that He is faithful, not some of the time, but all of the time!
Excerpted with permission from 10 Principles for Studying Your Bible by Charles Stanley, copyright Charles F. Stanley.
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Are you holding tight to the promises of God? He put them in His Word so that you can lean on them and find strength and hope from His promises. What are you facing today that could use the faithfulness of God’s promises? Come share with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily