The power of his promises
My dear youth:
I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask that His blessings, love, and guidance be upon you in abundance.
It’s very exciting when a couple promises to love each other eternally during their marriage ceremony. I mention “eternal” considering what the solemn words that are spoken on these occasions mean, “Till death do us part.” It is a guarantee that they will remain by each other’s side without permitting their love to grow cold, no matter the circumstances, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, in good times and in bad, etc. I found a marriage vows guide on the internet to be said before civil authorities, “The groom: I…, take you… to be my wife and promise to be faithful and care for you in riches on in poverty, in sickness or in health, all the days of my life.” (1)
Unfortunately, many break this promise even when made before God and the church; people end up separating from the person they expressed these solemn vows to and forget about their love. How sad, but how true!
Our current society is characterized for not being consistent with the promises they make. In fact, we’re accustomed to see how politicians, celebrities, and just people in general not keep their promises especially when see themselves under pressure or it seems disadvantageous for them to keep their word. We’ve seen how important government officials have sworn to tell the truth and nothing but the truth at tribunals, placing their hand over the Bible and after time it is discovered that they committed perjury.
In the past, promises were highly regarded. My father-in-law told me what when he was a young man, they were accustomed to making business deals by giving their word and with a handshake, nothing more, not even signing any documentation. He told me that “a promise was worth more than a document.” But this came to an end. Today, even signed documents that confirm the agreement aren’t regarded. It’s sad but true! I don’t mean to say that no one keeps their word; there are very honest people that keep their promises at all cost, rain or shine, but they are the minority.
In the midst of this situation, a bright light rises in the horizon of the God-loving Christian, they are the divine promises. The word of God is immovable, powerful, and eternal. It is true that humans unstable and tend to break our promises, but in God we can find eternal refuge and security. His word is trustworthy, and we can and should rest in them, for we know that He will never let us down, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19.
Men and women that founded their lives on the word of God, that is the Bible, gained great victories through faith. To exercise faith in what the Lord promises is an exercise in this life that is of greater satisfaction than living trusting in God. To cling to His promises is like having life insurance for any contingency. Let us remember that this was the theme of great Bible characters. Moses learned to rest his life not on what he was capable of doing, but on what God could do through him. He didn’t lack for complicated moments that threatened to plunge him into despair and the deepest discouragement. But what did he do? “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27. He endured believing in God and waiting in Him. By faith he clung to the divine promises and continued on despite the fire of trials burning him. If Moses had been discouraged, he wouldn’t have been able to be the great leader that he became, and another story would’ve been written about him.
David Livingstone is said to be one of the greatest explorers, doctor, and English missionary ever in existence; he is considered a great hero, since through his astronomical observations geographical locations were established in African cartography, thus contributing very valuable information about botany, geology, and zoology. He fought against slavery and discovered Victoria Falls, whose name he gave in honor of the queen of United Kingdom. His life relied on divine promises and never had he reached his objectives if he had been discouraged. He stated, “Anxiety, sickness, suffering, or danger now and then with a foregoing of the common conveniences and charities of this life, may make us pause and cause the spirit to waver and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing when compared with the glory which shall be revealed in and for us.” (2)
The apostle Paul was another great man whose life relied on the promises of the Lord. He taught that “now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1.
We need to exercise complete trust in the living word of God. His promises should be the light that guides our lives, the safe haven where we can hide when the storm passes by, the compass that guides us. It isn’t easy to stand when everything collapses round us or when things don’t go as we would like; but it’s our challenge. Jesus promised that victory is for those that exercise faith in His promises, “all things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23.
When we cease to rely on God’s promise and come to rest on our own securities, failure is guaranteed. Abraham received the promise of God that he would be a father of multitudes, but he had no son and his wife was aged and couldn’t conceive. What could he do? His human side prevailed in this situation and Sarah and Abraham took the wrong path. The result was adultery and a son that was always in enmity with the natural son the patriarch had later on with his wife. If God promises, He fulfilled His promises, although it may not seem like it. The prophet Habakkuk summarizes this truth in an excellent way, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” Habakkuk 2:3.
Every son and daughter of God should focus on this thought as a daily exercise. We have no reason to despair. The inspired pen says, “God would not have any of us remain pressed down by dumb sorrow, with sore and breaking hearts. He would have us look up to catch the rainbow of promise, and reflect light to others.” Selected Messages Book 2, p. 257. “Go right forward as if every prayer offered was lodged in the throne of God and responded to by the One whose promises never fail. Go right along, singing and making melody to God in your hearts, even when depressed by a sense of weight and sadness… light will come, joy will be ours, and the mists and clouds will be rolled back.” Selected Messages Book 2, p. 242.
Dear youth, I encourage you to exercise faith in the wonderful promises of God and don’t let yourself be cast down by the enemy. This is my desire and prayer. Amen.
José Vicente Giner
Pastor and Youth Department Leader
of the General Conference
- On what should the life of every Christian rely on?
- What is needed to embrace a divine promise?
- How can we strengthen our faith in God’s promises?