Standing on the Promises of God

Many Sunday evening services included a song that proclaimed our faith – loudly and joyfully. We declared that we were ‘standing on the promises of God.’  I am choosing to do that this morning!  My prayers were weighty this morning – a friend with lung cancer for whom treatment is not working, a family grieving the death of their Mom and wife, the plight of the nation of Afghanistan under a cruel regime that especially hates Christians, the new pastor’s arrival at the church from which I am retiring next week, friends traveling to Tanzania – on top of the list already in place!

Praying, I brought to mind the promise of our Lord Jesus – “Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:20).  Promises are dependent on the one who makes them. Who has not relied on someone full of words of promise only to discover that their words aren’t worth anything. Our God is trustworthy.  We are, indeed, ‘standing on the promises of God.’

Some Christians tell me about their disappointment with God claiming that He has failed them.  We need to be cautious about ‘proof-text’ faith, basing some major idea about the will of God or a promise of the Spirit on a single verse taken from the Bible without context or study.  When we make our own agenda primary and then insist that God blesses our plan: “You promised!” – our faith can take a hard blow when we find a reality other than the one we desired. I have known some who have walked away from the Lord bitterly disillusioned, insisting that God failed. Could it be, I wonder, that they have confused what they wanted with what God promised?  

Admittedly, the ways of God can be mysterious to those of us with limited vision.  When He allows death to take someone we love too soon in our estimation, we wrestle with His trustworthiness, don’t we? When a son that we have loved and prayed for resists Him and plunges into a life of self-destruction,  we wonder why He does not intervene.  When hate appears to have won the day, as it appears in Afghanistan, we are tempted to ask why and how this could happen.

I love Jeremiah’s prayer found in his Lamentations. His beloved nation was devastated, the Temple torn apart, the future dark. But, he professed faith in the promises of God.  I love the authenticity of his words.  “So I say, “My splendor is gone and all that I had hoped from the LORD.” (Lamentations 3:18, NIV)  Ever felt that way?  Then, he looks to the heart of the Father.  “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” (Lamentations 3:21-22, NIV)

True faith is humble, submitted to the loving wisdom of God. This I believe – When we live in full faith we will not demand anything from God even as we rely on Him for everything!  We will not argue for an easier call, beg for a different way, or doubt when things go wrong.  Instead, we will deepen our faith – asking only to be led by His hand. And, He is faithful.  If we need a course correction, He will lead us.  If we are to walk through the valley, He will be there with us.  

Job, that godly man whose struggles were unbelievably difficult, worked through his disappointment, faced the grim reality of life, endured criticism and false judgment, and chose to wait on God.  “The LORD said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” Then Job answered the LORD: “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.” (Job 40:1-5, NIV)  Now, that is REAL faith.

Stand on the promises of God!  Lean on Who He is even more than demanding Him to act in some way you think best. Let the promise of His unfailing love, of His gracious gift of life, bring such a radical assurance that faith will be rock solid, unwavering, leading to a joyful obedience to Him.

Here’s a word of promise from our Savior. Note the interplay of promise and obedience.  When we trust Him enough to obey without question, our will aligns with His in such a way that we are empowered in wonderful ways.  Meditate on this and live it. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.” (John 15:7-10, NIV)


Standing On The Promises

Standing on the promises of Christ my King
Through eternal ages let His praises ring
Glory in the highest I will shout and sing
Standing on the promises of God

Standing standing
Standing on the promises of God my Savior
Standing standing
I’m standing on the promises of God

Standing on the promises that cannot fail
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail
By the living Word of God I shall prevail
Standing on the promises of God

Standing on the promises I now can see
Perfect present cleansing in the blood for me
Standing in the liberty where Christ makes free
Standing on the promises of God

Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s Sword
Standing on the promises of God

Standing on the promises I cannot fall
List’ning ev’ry moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Savior as my All in All
Standing on the promises of God

Russell Kelso Carter

© Words: Public Domain

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