There are great rewards when you make and honour great promises and there is great sadness and pain when promises are broken.
It may be a parent, a family member, a friend, a boss, or a husband or wife who breaks a promise. Many pop songs, rock lyrics, and raps deal with this all-too-common experience of broken promises.
In a world of broken promises, it is important that we understand that God is the greatest promise keeper of all. His promises are unbreakable and unshakeable. The Bible says; “He has given us His very great and precious promises.” (2 Peter 1:4) God’s promises will sustain us in the present and they have the power to shape our tomorrows.
Adoniram Judson was a great pioneer missionary to what was then called Burma. He went with his wife into hostile Buddhist territory and they endured great persecution and pain. When asked about the prospect of success in the face of such difficulties Judson famously replied: “the future is as bright as the promises of God.” And so it proved. By the time of his death he had seen the whole Bible translated, and 100 churches established with over 8,000 believers.
God makes great promises and it has been estimated that there are 7,487 promises in the Bible made by God. He made promises to every major leader in the Bible such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Daniel, Paul, and of course to the Israelites and the Church.
Some of them are specific to that time and to those people, but most are general promises that are for you to possess.
God promised Noah that never again would He flood the earth. He promised David that He would establish his throne for ever. He promised Joshua that he would inherit the promised land. He promised the Israelites that they would return from the darkness of captivity. He promised that Messiah would come as the saviour of sins and ruler of the nations.
The Messiah promised that whoever followed Him would never walk in darkness but would walk in great light and liberty. He promised His followers that they would experience never failing love and a fullness of life that would last for ever. He promised that they would never be alone, and the Holy Spirit would always be with them. He promised that he would build His church and the gates of hell would never overcome it. And he promised that He would one day return to earth in power and glory.
God’s promises are eternal and obtainable. The promises are for all believers who are the spiritual descendants of Abraham our father in faith. Our church vision is based on God’s Promises to Abraham; “The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”” (Genesis 12:1-3) This promise was repeated in Genesis 15:5 and Genesis 17:1-8.
Not only does our God make great promises, but He keeps them. We’re told of the fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham in Romans 4:18; “Abraham…became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” and in Hebrews 6:15; “…and so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”
God’s timing is not our timing but when He says something, it will come to pass, even if it is many years after you received the promise. From the moment you receive the promise it is as good as done. It is just a matter of timing.
There are so many scriptures that we can hold on to which reassure us of God delivering on what He has promised; to Solomon (1 Kings 8:20), to Joshua (Joshua 23:14), to David (Psalm 145:13), and to the church (Hebrews 10:23).
We can obtain God’s promises to prosper us (Jeremiah 29:11), to redeem us (Isaiah 54:4), to save our families (Isaiah 54:13), to receive healing (Isaiah 57:18), to overcome opposition (Isaiah 54:17), and many more.
When God promises to do something, He will do it because it is impossible for Him to break His Word. The promises of God are bound up in the character of God’s integrity and truthfulness. God is not a man that He should lie.
The promises of God are sure, but they are not automatic. We have our part to play. God wants you to take hold of His great promises and in this Autumn series we are going to learn more about how to do that. Keep up with the podcasts each week and find more content at the God’s Great Promises hub.