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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Promises of God

“I have set my rainbow in the clouds,
and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

Genesis 9:13 NIV

I remember that when my husband and I visited the beautiful state of Hawaii, we enjoyed a rainbow almost every day! When I saw the rainbow, I remembered that the rainbow is a very visible sign of God’s promises to mankind.

It has been said that there are more than thirty-seven thousand promises in the Bible. One day I realized that I only knew a precious few of those promises. It then occurred to me that if I was to trust God’s promises for me I must begin to read his promises. It made perfect sense to me that I could not trust in a promise that I did not know!

One of my favorite study tools is a small pocket size promise book that I purchased so that I could begin to become familiar with all that God has promised. Those precious promises are interwoven throughout the entire Bible. It is interesting that there are three types of promises in the Bible.

The first type of promises looks more like God’s “trusted principles.” These are the promises that we can know beyond a shadow of doubt what must and will happen. These are the principles that tell us how God provides for mankind simply because we are his creation. These promises are prophetic regarding the future of our world and the end of time. The tone of all of these promises is that God has spoken and he will not change his mind, not now or ever. An example of this is “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NIV

The second type of promises can only to be claimed by believers. We see an example of this as Jesus spoke the following words to his disciples, “I go to 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: 3 NIV Make no mistake, this promise is only for believers.

The third type is the “conditional” promises. I had a gross misunderstanding of this type of promise because I always focused on what God would do for me, paying no mind to what was necessary for me to do first! God is not obliged to keep these promises to us unless we do our part first. God promises to do “this” if we will do “that.” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1: 9 NIV My part is confession and God’s part is forgiveness.

Today I am thinking about the wonderful truth that God is not a God who makes a bunch of rules and puts them in a book and then tells us good luck with all that! No, God is relational. God and I both have a part in our relationship. It is both sad and amazing that mankind makes all kinds of promises to one another everyday, and everyday there is pain and devastation from broken promises. Our encouragement is this; God never breaks his promises to us. “All your words are true;” Psalm 119:160a NIV God’s promises are wonderfully true and marvelously unchangeable.


What are some of the promises of God that you know?

Do you feel a need to know more of God’s precious promises to you?

Are you missing out on something that God has promised you because you are not even aware of his promise?

Are you missing out on a “conditional” promise because you have failed to do your part in that promise?


Dear God,

Oh my, there are so many promises in your Word. Help me to learn little by little everything you have promised me. God, I want to claim all of your promises for my life. I don’t want to miss out on a single promise. Give me strength to do my part in the “conditional” promises. Thank you for the comfort that comes to my heart as I pray back to you the very words that you have promised me. God it is such a privilege that I can remind you in prayer of what you have promised to me. I wait in expectation for the fulfillment of every promise that you have given me. As I wait, I take comfort in the knowledge that you cannot lie and that you are amazingly faithful in keeping all of your promises to those who love, trust, and obey you.

In Your Son’s Name I pray. Amen.