Standing On The Promises
by Bev Brown, Set Me Free Ministries Prayer Coordinator
I was asked to consider doing the blog this week to which I responded, "Sure!" I prayed a quick, "Lord, what would You have me write about?" And as I stood up from my chair, I was immediately impressed with these words, "Standing on the Promises." I thanked God for such a quick answer to my prayer and thought it would be a pretty easy blog. Until, of course, I sat down to actually write it–not so easy.
The Bible is filled from Genesis to Revelation with promises to both believers and non-believers. Some of those promises have been fulfilled, and some have yet to take place. But be assured, if God promised it, He will do it. 2 Peter 3:9 assures us that "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
So, my first question was, "What exactly are the promises of God?" There are those who will tell you that once you become a Christian, God promises "sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows" as a 1965 song says or, as Joy said in last weeks blog, "kittens, flowers, and candy." But alas, that is not what God promises.
Here are just a few of the promises that Jesus made to His disciples before His crucifixion:
• The world will hate you. (John 15:18-19)
You will be persecuted. (John 15:20)
You will be put out of the synagogues. (John 16:2)
You will be scattered. (John 16:32)
• You will have tribulation. (John 16:33)
At this point in the blog, a reasonable question might be, "Why would anyone apply for the disciple position if this is the job description?" My response: "Because the benefits far outweigh anything on that list!" Let's look at what surrounds those promises on the list above in Jesus' own words:
• "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And 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)
• "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever–the Spirit of truth…" (John 14:16-17)
• "I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you." (John 14:18)
• "Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you (John 14:27)
• "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." (John 15:7)
• "…I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. (John 16:22)
• "…In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (John 16:38)
So what are we to conclude about God's promises to His children? Isaiah 43:1-3 says it far better than I can, so let me end with his words of exhortation to us: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name, you are Mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."
What a wonderful promise to stand on!