Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hope – Promises of God

From Genesis 1:1 to the closing sentence of Revelation, we have the promises of God. The Holy Bible is an amazing journey through time. It moves us, inspires us, corrects us, causes us to pause and assess what is important to us. The Holy Bible inspires hope, because we know the promises are not empty words or wishful trappings of an ancient religion, but truth that continues to reveal it's self over and over in our daily lives.

If we took just one promise of God and held it tightly – the power of that one promise would change our life, but God has made hundreds of promises to us!

The hallmark promise of God is His promise of a Savior. Over and over the gospels record not only what Jesus said about being the promised Savior or Messiah, but verified it with the power to perform many miracles. Jesus announced several times to his disciples and Jewish leaders that he would die, but he would raise from the dead. If he were only human, that would be impossible, but since he was the Son of God, that changes everything.

So what about these promises? How do we receive them?

As I began to write this article, I was stumped. I know many promises of God off the top of my head, but what kept bugging me was the receiving the promises. God promised never to leave us or forsake us – but there are times when I feel very forgotten. God promised protection – but sometimes I feel uncertain. God promised prosperity – but I struggle to make ends meet. What is the problem here? Is it God withholding or is it my understanding?

To get the answers – I prayed and asked God, “What's the problem – why do I feel this way when your Word says I have already received the promises through belief in Jesus?” The Lord answered me by reminding me of King David. I know the story of King David, but why was this my answer?

I spent a couple days meditating and reading the story of David. One of the things I realized – Promises are not miracles. Miracles happen immediately—where promises take time to come to pass. In my mind I had them confused.

David was anointed king when he was young – maybe around fourteen or fifteen years old. God did not dispose the current King Saul, but allowed Saul to rule over Israel for another fifteen or so years until he was killed in battle. David did not receive the promise of being king right away, but spent most of those years running from King Saul who wanted him dead. David survived to rule for forty years.

Another story came to me, the story of Abraham. God promised him a son with his wife Sarah, who were both up in years, Abraham about 75 yrs and Sarah 65yrs old when the promise was made, but it took another twenty-five years for that promise to be fulfilled with the birth of Issac. Amazing!

I've since grown in my understanding that God is not in a hurry, but always fulfills His promises at just the right time according to His timetable not ours. So how do we live with what seems like delays? Faith – a confident assurance and patiently waiting. Believe in the goodness of God. He is true to His Word, knowing we are closer today to receiving our promises than we were yesterday.

“Then Abraham waited patiently and he received what God had promised” Hebrews 6:15

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