Promises…we’ve likely all made them or been asked to “Promise” at some time in our lives. The promises we make are always conditional. Clean your room, eat your peas, do your laundry, be a good boy or girl. The list is endless, but to receive the reward of the promise the receiver has to perform an action. If the action isn’t carried out as specified then the promise can be broken; and regardless if the promise was made to a child or an adult and it gets broken, mistrust sets in.
I’m so thankful God isn’t like that, when he makes a promise it’s a done deal. The first step in receiving God’s promises is to believe that he IS, to have faith in his promises, even in our darkest, scariest times. Our life of faith is a response to God’s power. We don’t rest on men’s wisdom but on God’s power. The Christian life is obedience of faith.
When things are going well for me and for those I love, it is easy to keep living in anticipation of what God has promised for me. Why then is it so much more difficult to stay focused on these same promises of salvation, peace, justice and pardon when I am faced with trials and temptations? Is my faith gone during trials, have I quit trusting and believing? Why am I so quick to want revenge, to inflict hurt on those who hurt me or those I love? I don’t think I have lost my faith or put it on the shelf, I think the evil one wants me to doubt myself and to think I am weak and miserable. Christians are to hate evil, not the person, the sin. I am fully aware how difficult it is to separate the two, yet Jesus died in my place and yours, hating our sin and loving us and suffering far more than I can even imagine.
Since we’re free in the freedom of God, can we do anything that comes to mind? Hardly. You know well enough from your own experience that there are some acts of so-called freedom that destroy freedom. Offer yourselves to sin, for instance, and it’s your last free act. But offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom! Rom 6:15-18 (from THE MESSAGE)
Our God is a just God, he won’t forget us. We are encouraged not to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Heb 6:12 NIV
Remember Abraham…Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” Rom 4:20-22 NIV
God will give us the strength to wade through the clutter in our lives that threatens to smother out the very one we want to live for and serve.