Few things matter more in human relationships than confidence that another will keep his word. Lies, even those that seem inconsequential, are so destructive. A person who exaggerates discounts his words. Those who mislead others find themselves without friends. Those who chose who live inauthentically, trying to be someone they are not, refusing to face the truth, eventually are exposed as frauds, often tragically.
But, oh what a joy to know someone who takes Jesus’ words to heart – “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37, NIV) In other words, they live without shadows, truthful, with integrity. I trust that kind of person with my life!
God’s faithfulness to keep His promise is the foundation of our Christian hope. The writer of Hebrews compared the Law’s sacrifices, which had to be renewed year after year for the sins of the people with the once for all time sacrifice of Jesus. His offering of Himself opened the Way to Life. “By one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. … (so) let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:14,22, NIV) That offering is a promise – of forgiveness, of being made whole, and of eternal life!
Do you trust Him?
The Evil One tries to get us to focus on those things that disappoint us, things for which we have no explanation, in order to erode our faith in God’s promises. Eve, in the Garden, heard his whisper about her Creator that held the suggestion that God was not good, that He was withholding good from her, and she sinned. He will attempt the same with you, with me. When we are living in sunshine and enjoying blessings, it is easy to join this song that David sang “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true.” (2 Samuel 22:31) But, when we struggle with death, sickness, or temptation – God’s promises can seem to be made only for others. We may even be tempted to question Him, to wonder like David in another of his songs, “How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?” (Psalm 35:17)
As we come to the Season of Advent, remember the fulfilled prophecies of the Coming of the Lord. For centuries the Jews looked for their Deliverer. They hoped and prayed, endured, and waited. Over time, the word of the Lord was encrusted with their pre-suppositions, obscured by their assumptions. And, when Jesus came, they missed the Promise! “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” (John 1:9-11, NIV) What a tragic word, but we are equally prone to miss out if we insist that God come to us as we desire, in the way that we think He must, doing the things on which we insist.
This Monday morning, whether you are singing a victory song or a cry for renewal – look to the One who promises. His promises are Yes and Amen. Nothing and no one can steal His love from us. Confess that and defeat your doubts. Hope that is fixed on the unchanging promise of our Father is our anchor.
Here is a word from the Word – “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” (Hebrews 10:23, NLT)
Abba, You love me.
Sing over me, help me to know that truth
deep in my soul, beyond mere words,
in a way that leads to conviction and commitment.
As I begin to enter this Season when we celebrate
The coming of Your Son, the arrival of our Salvation,
Make the promises new to me each day.
Then, I will serve You, love You, and walk with You
In a way that honors Your Name.