Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Promises to Keep

"... He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises..." (II Peter 1:4).

Of the challenges in life, somewhere near the top is following through. We have such good intentions (yes, the road to hell is probably paved with them), and believe ourselves to be trustworthy, yet the longer we live the higher the price we must pay in energy & effort if we would follow through on the promises we make.

In stark contrast, how good it is to know that the promises made by the Father can by no means fail. For they are but extensions of His character. And a promise is only as reliable as the one making it. So His promises are precious and magnificent because (a.) He is immutable, (b.) He is omniscient, and (c.) He is omnipotent.

(a.) "I, the LORD, do not change;" (Malachi 3:6) Could His character change, were He to vacillate with the tides of time, His Word would be suspect and His promises questionable. His statements of certainty would produce cynicism, instead of faith. His declarations and pronouncements of intention would become admirable at best, but laughable at worst. In short, He would not be God, and His promises anything but precious or magnificent.

(b.) So often our promises fail from lack of foresight. Locked in time and unable to see tomorrow and beyond, our best intentions are thwarted, forcing us to have a Plan B, or C, or worse. And the farther down the road of life we traverse, the uncertainties mount rather than diminish.

How refreshing is God's absolute knowledge! He states, "...I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure.'" (Isaiah 46: 9b, 10). I rejoice to trust One Whose promises stem from an absolute knowledge of every contingency, every potentiality, every possible outcome. Taking Him at His Word, trusting His "eyes" to see what I cannot, heightens my anticipation and expectancy that He will keep every promise perfectly.

(c.) Finally, there are promises we make that we cannot keep because we do not have the strength to do so. As years take their toll, promises become rarer from an innate sense that the physical ability to keep them is diminishing. And only the Lord knows how many promises made by mortal man remain unkept because death intervened.

How I love Jeremiah 32: 27 and 17 (in that order)! God says, "Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?" And Jeremiah boldly declares, "Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You."

Much do we need to meditate upon, and memorize these words! We need to speak them confidently into the face of our direst circumstances, rehearse them in the hearing of our omnipotent God when staring at seemingly insurmountable barriers. He who unchangingly knows our every heartache and need, who has known these times from all eternity, who is touched with the feelings of our infirmities, and has infinite resources at His disposal--- He will do what He has said He will do!

We honor Him by praising Him at ALL times for His precious and magnificent promises.