“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
Promises - something I make all too often, and yet despite my best intentions, too often fail to keep. I never make a promise with the intention of breaking it. Yet, sometimes I forget or another situation will come up, or to be honest the promise I made in the moment seems too inconvenient in the now. (As an example, my new year’s resolution promising myself to eat healthier seems a distant memory as I scarf down this pizza next to me.)
So, I wish I could say I always fulfill my promises (and if you ask my friends I am a pretty reliable person), but more times than I care to admit, I break my promises. And I’m not the only one! I have been on the receiving side of broken promises as well. (I mean come on, Mom and Dad- I’m still waiting on that puppy you promised when I was five!)
As humans our promises are well-meaning intentions, but even our most sincere intentions can end in broken promises.
But when God makes a promise, He always fulfills it.
For a lot of us, this concept is not foreign. We know that God is the “promise maker, promise keeper.” We sing in church about the faithfulness of God, and how He never fails. However, what has really been on my heart during this season of my life is:
How do we hold on to the promises of God, when we don’t see him moving in our situation in the moment?
Because to be real for a second, I can easily preach on the faithfulness of God after He provides a financial blessing for me to go to college, but it is a little harder for me to claim God as provider, when I am still looking at a school bill that I can’t pay.
Recently, I have been studying the book Genesis. Specifically this week, I have been reading the story of Abraham. The story of Abraham is fascinating because we see God make a promise, and then watch as the promise unfolds not over a week or a year – but rather over the course of years! The story is found in Genesis 15-21 (I encourage you to read it when you have a moment). A quick synopsis of the story is God promises Abraham that He will make him a great nation. However, when God makes this promise, Abraham and his wife Sarah don’t even have children! But Abraham believes, and despite a few setbacks, years later when Sarah is 90 years old they have a son named Isaac.
Every time I read this story, I am amazed at God’s faithfulness, but also I honestly get a little upset. I mean really God? You make a promise that you could fulfill immediately, yet you chose to wait for so long?
But the longer I walk with the Lord, the more I realize God’s priority is always our relationship with THE PROMISE MAKER, not our impatience to receive the PROMISE.
God waited until Abraham and Sarah were past the age of having children, so all would know that God had brought about this work. They had to trust that the promise would happen not because of a natural situation, but rather a divine promise made by the faithful promise keeper.
Alright. So we have seen God faithfulness in fulfilling His promises in the life of Abraham, but how does this story apply to our lives?
Maybe you are waiting for healing in this season. Perhaps like Abraham and Sarah you are believing for a child. Whatever the promise is that you are a waiting for – financial provision, restored relationships, or growth in ministry – God is calling us to trust in His promise, despite the situation we see around us.
One of my favorite songs recently has been “Do It Again” by Elevation worship:
Walking around these walls I thought by now they'd fall But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come Knowing the battle's won For You have never failed me yet
Your promise still stands Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness I'm still in Your hands This is my confidence, You've never failed me yet
I know the night won't last Your Word will come to pass My heart will sing Your praise again
Jesus, You're still enough Keep me within Your love My heart will sing Your praise again
I’ve seen You move, You move the mountains And I believe, I’ll see you do it again You made a way, when there was no way And I believe I’ll see you do it again
Your promise still stands Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness I'm still in Your hands This is my confidence, You never failed Your promise still stands Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness I'm still in Your hands This is my confidence, You never failed me yet.
I LOVE the words of this song, and the truth it proclaims. When we are in the middle of waiting on God’s promises, we can rest in the truth that even when we don’t see the evidence of the promise in the moment, we can hold onto the faithfulness of a God who can move the mountains.
And dear friend, I wish I could say trusting God’s promises is always easy, but sometimes it is so hard. But I will say this: We serve a God who not only makes us promises, but walks with us every step of the way as we wait for the promise.
So, in my life, right now I am believing that I will see the promises of restoration and healing in my life come to pass, but even more importantly as I wait for those promises, I am learning to trust not in the situation I see, but of the faithfulness of THE PROMISE MAKER.
“The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.” Psalm 145:13b