Can you think of a promise you made that you’ve broken? It’s a painful thought. A more painful thought would be if you could think of a promise God has broken – thankfully God’s very nature makes it impossible for him to do this. When God makes a covenant promise, it stands good for all time. We may break a promise from our side but he never does. Once in the grip of God’s amazing grace, he never lets go. Shepherd boy turned King, David celebrates this reality throughout the Psalms that told the story of his spiritual ups and downs. In Psalm 19, his soul sings out ‘my Rock and my Redeemer’ and this is the theme tune of his life. Let it be yours rather than disappointment with the deceitful shallow promises all around us in the world and you shall be as solid as a lighthouse to shine out for others.
- ‘The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1
- ‘God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging’ – Psalm 46:1-3
A lovely old Sunday School teacher called Pat once told a group of children that there are 366 promises from God – one for every day of the year plus one for a Leap Year! The Morning Service on BBC Radio 4 7th January 2020 was led by Salvation Army Major Anne Read – she declared that there are more than 5000 promises in the Bible and that God has never failed her since she first put faith in him as a girl of 7. A bit of research indicates that there are many, some saying 5467 (biblegateway.com) and others estimating anything from 3,000 to 30,000!
If your Bible knowledge is red hot, you’ll know God made Covenantal promises with Abram, Noah, Moses and David that led to blessings down through the ages even to God’s people today as fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ. Before highlighting some ‘rocklike’ promises from God for you, here are some interesting and occasionally surprising insights on promises from other quarters:
- ‘When I was about five, I gave my heart to Jesus Christ, and since then it's just been a stronghold in my life. Really, through the shark attack and all the hard times that my family and I went through, it gave us unity and perseverance to push through all this crazy stuff that we never knew was going to happen’ - Bethany Hamilton
- ‘Cast your cares on God; that anchor holds’ – Frank Moore Colby
- ‘When you find your definitions in God, you find the very purpose for which you were created. Put your hand into God's hand, know His absolutes, demonstrate His love, present His truth, and the message of redemption and transformation will take hold’ – Ravi Zacharias
- ‘Keep every promise you make and only make promises you can keep’ – Anthony Hitt
- ‘In the same way the sun never grows weary of shining, nor a stream of flowing, it is God's nature to keep His promises. Therefore, go immediately to His throne and say, 'Do as You promised' – Charles Spurgeon
- ‘No matter what has happened to you in the past or what is going on in your life right now, it has no power to keep you from having an amazingly good future if you will walk by faith in God. God loves you! He wants you to live with victory over sin so you can possess His promises for your life today’ – Joyce Meyer
- ‘It is easy to make promises - it is hard work to keep them’ – Boris Johnson
- ‘As I look back over fifty years of ministry, I recall innumerable tests, trials and times of crushing pain. But through it all, the Lord has proven faithful, loving, and totally true to all his promises’ – David Wilkerson
If you do a little research yourself on any of these, you may have a wry smile on what Boris Johnson says, be deeply touched by David Wilkerson and greatly stirred by the courage of Bethany. How would any of us be if we were professional surfers and had our arm bitten off by a shark?! There are plenty of ‘sharks’ out there wanting to devour us with their lies so here are some mighty promises from God that are as solid as a rock and place unfailing covenants over your life in Christ.
- ‘Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself’ – 2 Timothy 2:11-13
- ‘”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”’ – Jeremiah 29:11
And then when you thought it couldn't get any better, our Lord Jesus Christ brings an even better Covenant!
- 'For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant' - Hebrews 9:15
- ‘Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen’ – Hebrews 13:20-21
- ‘When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek – Hebrews 6:13-19
- ‘For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come’ – 2 Corinthians 1:20-22
If you are waiting for God to fulfil a promise in your life, he is with you in the waiting and he will fulfil all he has said. So be strong in God and in the certainties of his covenantal promises given to you – no matter what comes, he has you safe in his everlasting arms.
TAGS – stronghold, mountaineering, climbing, promises, hold