We make many promises in our lives. Some of them are promises we made to our parents to “never do that again.” Others are promises we make in official ways like when I married my wife or was ordained in ministry. Inauguration day is coming in a few days which gives the president an opportunity to promise to uphold the office he has been elected to. Kids make promises to each other and emphatically add things like “pinky swear” in order to really seal the deal. Promises say a lot about who we are because when we make a promise we are demonstrating whether or not we are true to our word. In other words, when I say something do I do it?
People have not always had a clean history when it comes to making promises. We are people who tend to think we can do more than we can and we forget things that we commit to. What parent hasn’t heard from their child, “hey dad, you promised!” It is a gentle reminder of how easily we make and break promises.
God does not make the same half-hearted promises. When He says it, it gets done. The problem for us is in believing that what God said will actually happen. We operate on a different time schedule than God does. Our society tells us that it is now or never. God never said that. For example, we look at Jesus’ promise to build His church and we wonder how that is possible when our church building has been burned down. How could God be building His church in this? It is a mystery to us, but we know that He is. Then we have trials and issues of this life. Just yesterday I received a notice from the state’s department of revenue about an audit they are doing. What an exciting letter that is! Let’s hope they break their promise on that one.
God is never surprised or thrown off his plan, no matter what circumstances take place on a daily basis. He is always accomplishing HIs perfect plan.
Another place that I think a lot about this is in the teaching and understanding of God’s Word. We are told that God’s Word will always accomplish God’s purposes. What we aren’t told is when that will happen. In my work with teenagers I work very hard to teach the Bible in such a way that students understand it and apply it to their lives. Sometimes it is obvious they are there and tracking with me and other times it is obvious they have checked out. But God keeps His promise to do the life change through His Word and I hold onto that in faith.
“Theses were commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” – Hebrews 11: 39-40
This all comes down to faith. We have faith in our God who always keeps His promises. Just like the many people in the faith chapter of the Bible had faith in God even when they didn’t see the results, so must we have faith at all times. We have faith that despite the issues we face on a daily basis, that God is firmly on His thrown and is in complete control. He always keeps His promises.