Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. I Kings 8:56
It’s happened again. The chapel sermon provoked my thinking about where I’m going in this Christian journey. Our bishop shared a book she’s reading about a professor who told his students at opening session that every one of them would get an “A” in the course. This was a grand experiment, but through the weeks, the professor reminded everyone what “A” students did: They came to class; they participated; they worked hard. Each week was a reminder, and the experiment worked. As the students lived into the promise, they and their academic achievements flourished.
By now, you can see where I’m going… We live with access to a rich, inviolable document, the Bible that is full of astonishing promises given by a Person of impeccable integrity and unfailing resources. There are so many promises—some sources count 3573 while others suggest 5467—that every human condition is covered. The word promise is written 221 times. If one single promise changed the lives and performance of a classroom of university students, just imagine how only a handful of promises could change our lives as we live into them.
Take, for example, God’s promise that he would never leave or forsake us (Deut. 31:8, Heb. 13:5, Matt. 28:20). If we really believed that, would we ever be lonely or feel abandoned? Would we ever sense that there was no one to help with important decisions or are we just left to our own devices? When relationships fracture or when circumstances move us from our comfort zones, isn’t it comforting to know we’re not ever going to be alone?
Another promise that should fortify us is God’s promise in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” This beautiful word has the modifier “all.” I think “all” means “all.” Not “some” or “sometimes.” God will supply ________________ (fill in the blank) according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Have you ever asked God to meet a financial need, a family need, an emotional need, a professional need? Did you trust and then watch to see what he would do? And then did you stand in awe at his faithfulness?
How about this one: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (II Corinthians 12:9). Grace, God’s free and unmerited favor, will sustain us when all our resources are depleted and when we are weakest. Perhaps that’s why grace is so amazing.
One of my personal favorites is, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Once again, I love the word “all.” All things work together for good to them that love God… God doesn’t say that everything looks good at first blush, but he promises that eventually all things will work together and result in good. We just have to be patient.
I could go on and on. There are promises about deliverance in temptation, victory over death, forgiveness of sin, eternal life, family, God’s love, and hundreds more—possibly up to 5467. It shouldn’t be all that difficult. We are just to believe what God says and live into the promise. Obedience is our part; fulfillment is God’s.
Not one word has failed of all his good promises…
Promise-making and promise-keeping God, help us to trust you as we live into your good Word and your good promises. May you be pleased as you see us becoming more and more like you. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.