As parents we would like to believe that we set precedence by instilling honorable examples and principles of being trustworthy. When my sons were young, to assure them of my desire to follow-up with plans we had made, one day I made a gross error by asking a simple question, “Have I ever broken a promise?” After a few moments of silence, my youngest son who was about seven or eight said, “Yes.” Completely appalled at the thought that he would even suggest I would do such a thing as break a promise, he continued, “One time, you said you were going to take us to the park, it rained and you didn’t take us.” I replied calmly, “It rained, how we could go to the park in the rain?” He responded, “Because you promised!” Needless to say, in the future I was careful in articulating the parameters of my promises.
Most of us know how it feels for someone to make a promise, only to renege on the pledge with the least bit of remorse, or show no consideration at all for failing to follow through. It’s sometimes heart breaking, to wait with great expectation only to find out later, that the promise would never be fulfilled. Promises are broken for a plethora of reasons. Sometimes the unfulfilled plead is broken because of extenuating circumstances. Other times the person making the declaration is not fully committed to his/her word. Courts are filled with lawsuits, friendships end, marriages are torn apart, deals are forfeited and dreams are abated because agreements are broken. Regardless of the reason or situation, someone is usually left feeling deceived and dejected, when a promise is not kept.Even though the response I offered my son appeared reasonable, it is an example of how crucial it is to say what we mean and mean what we say, no matter what the circumstances. However, we all fail miserably because those of us, who are believers in our Lord and Savior, realize that we are not in control of our destiny and do not have the power within ourselves to fulfill promises we make
Before we can stand on His promises we have to know what they are. We learn what His promises are by saturating ourselves in His Word. It requires stamina and courage to stand on God’s promises! Ephesians 6: 11 states we are to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the wiles of the devil. Verse 13, take unto you the whole armor of God so that we will be able to withstand in the evil days and having done all, to stand, Verse 14, stand therefore having your loins girded about with truth. As believers we are not expected to know all the answers. What we need to know are God’s promises. Finding a promise to help us through the storm may be more of a challenge. There are books dedicated to listing the promises of God in specific subject areas. One author noted that the Bible contains over 7,000 promises. These promises are made by the only One who has the power to keep them.
After we have an awareness of the promises of God, why is it so arduous for us to claim them in our Christian walk? Is it because we desire our prayers to be answered as instantly as we click the mouse on the computer? Is the thought of standing firm on God’s Word so problematic we just decide to give up? Are God’s promises so obscure because we are not able to Google the solution, or go to Ask.com and have the answers appear on the computer screen in a matter of seconds? Are His promises intercepted by those annoying pop ups that appear indiscriminately in our minds, or suddenly on the computer screen, then serve as a distraction from seeking, waiting and claiming His promises as the final answer? Do we tune into our intimate desires and search for the solutions of our private schemes, like we check the weather forecast on our TV, tablet, or android? Then, do we determine that the inclement weather forecast for our life is not conducive to our personal fair weather plans? Paul was in the middle of a tempestuous wind called Euroclydon, the ship was caught up and he was given a message from God to pass on to the crew, “Be of good cheer; for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but only of the ship,” Acts 27:22. Later he assured them again saying, “Sirs, be of good cheer; for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me,” verse 25.
We can usually handle a little rain, but what if we are facing a storm? God’s promises help us to weather all the storms in our lives. These storms may be a failed relationship, the loss of a loved one, a wayward son or daughter, an illness, financial difficulties, problems at work, unemployment, or addictions. Identifying these storms may not be as difficult as enduring them. Whether it’s raining in the parks of our lives, or the sun is shining, we have been covered by his feathers, under His wings we shall trust and His truth shall be our shield and buckler. We are protected. We are safe in the storms of our lives and can rest in the knowledge that God will always keep His promises. The words to one of my favorite songs come to mind with lyrics written by Douglas Miller:
Though the storms keep on raging in my life, and sometimes it’s hard to tell my night from day. Still that hope that lies within is reassured as I keep my eyes upon the distant shore; I know He’ll lead me safely to that blessed place He has prepared.
But if the storms don’t cease, and if the wind keeps on blowing, my soul has been anchored in the Lord.
I realize that sometimes in this life you’re gonna be tossed by the waves and the currents that seem so fierce, but in the word of God I’ve got an anchor; and it keeps me steadfast and unmovable despite the tide.
My soul’s been anchored.
As I think back over the years, it seemed rational and understandable for me to allow a little rain to break my promise to my sons. I often think about God’s willingness to sacrifice His only Son for you and me. Jesus was not deterred by rejection, by bruises, by death on the cross, nor anything that would keep Him from fulfilling His promises to us. God will never leave us or forsake us. He will keep us in perfect peace when our minds stay on Him. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God’s words shall not pass away. God keeps His word. That’s a promise!
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