Precious Promises

“Every promise in the Book is mine!  Every chapter, every verse, every line.  I am standing on His Word divine!  Every promise in the Book is mine!”

Catchy little song.  We sing it in Primary.  Precious promises.  We teach our children to claim them. 

How do you like this promise?   “In the world you will have tribulation.” John 16:33 

Oh, you don’t like that so much?  How about this?  “We are hard-pressed on every side.”  2 Corinthians 4:8 

Hmmm…. let me try again.  How about…  “We also glory in tribulations.”  Romans 5:3 

I struck out, didn’t I?  Obviously I’ve taken those verses, or portions of them, entirely out of context.  The encouraging promises are nestled in and around the ones we don’t generally like the sound of.   While Jeff was dying of cancer, I had a love-hate relationship with the text that says, “With God, all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26.  Really?  Does this have to be possible?  Even Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”  Do I have to walk through that valley?

Somehow we as Christians seem to get the idea that once we are Christians, we’re “in”.  It’s all “good”.  Life will be “fine”.  Blessings and miracles will be coming our way.  And when things go bad we wonder what happened to our faith.  Or, when things are bad for someone else, we possibly question their walk with God.  Maybe they don’t have enough faith.

Remember John the Baptist?  Beheaded.  Stephen?  Stoned.  Job?  Stripped of all his family, belongings and health.  Yes, Job ended better than he began.  But he had to live through the pain while not knowing the final chapter.  He maintained his faith during devastation, not seeing his future.   That’s where the “rubber meets the road” or the “faith meets the life”.   “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  Hebrews 11:1.   Sometimes that’s a tough requirement. 

I’ve found great comfort in the following sequence of verses:  “Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.””  Mark 9: 23, 24.  Jesus honored his faith. 

We don’t have to conjure up faith.  “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17.    “And the apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”” Luke 17:5.   Faith is a gift.  Now that’s a precious promise.

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2 Comments

  1. I just keep thinking about this piece you wrote so often. It sums it up so well. I love it!

    Reply
    • “When you pass through the waters, 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.” Isaiah 43: 2, 3.

      Reply

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