Merriam Webster defines the word promise (n) as a a declaration that one will do or refrain from doing something specified. Synonyms of this word are: oath, troth, pledge, vow and word. As a verb, the word means: to pledge to do, bring about, or provide. Other synonyms include covenant, pledge and swear. When we substitute these given synonyms for the “root” word promise in sentences we can say:
- The Lord made a covenant to us, His bride that…
- The Lord through His Word states that…
- Yahweh has sworn that…
God’s promises are a spoken or written commitment. If God says He will do something, then He will. If God says He will refrain from doing something, He will.
Joshua in his final words to the children of Israel reminded them, “Not one of the good promises that the LORD had made to the house of Israel failed—all of them came about.” Chapter 21:45. He also said “And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” (Joshua 23:14)
As I reflected on my “regular” state of spiritual amnesia, I realized that at its root, were two things. Not knowing the promises of God and not holding them to my bosom.
The solution: study God’s Word and live by it.
What good is it studying/reading the Word and not practicing it? It’s like a man beholding his face in the mirror and immediately forgetting what he looks like.
Let’s take a look at what Brother James has to say. I prefer the literal translation the Message gives in this regard.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like.”
James 1:22-24 MSG
God makes two types of promises:
Unconditional Promises – This is a promise that is made without attaching any conditions whatsoever.
Conditional Promises – This type of promise is subject to certain qualifications or requirements. This is why it is important to understand the context of a promise. It is not wise to pick a random promise and claim it for our own. Perhaps that promise was conditional and we do not meet the requirements.
“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” (Num. 23:19)
Believing and Living in the promises makes us over-comers. Not living in the promises leaves us defeated.
Promises of God – Why does it matter?
The promises of God matter because:
- They are a reflection of who our Father is
- They validate who we are to our Father
- They help to undergird us with strength
- They help us to remain hopeful (in this life and for the next)
- Please chime in below with other reasons
So fellow sojourners of the Word, join me in this venture to be not only hearers of the Word but doers also.
What are some guidelines we aim to utilize and remember?
- Study the context. What do the surrounding verses say? Who is being spoken to?
- Is the promise conditional? Look for the word “if” in the context.
- God gives us promises to help us submit to His will, not to make Himself bend to our will.
- Do not presume to know when the promise will be fulfilled
Until next time remember, His Promises are our Guarantee…🙌🏽