The Bible says that God has “given to us exceedingly great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). The Bible describes God’s promises as being “exceedingly great.” Indeed that is true! It has been estimated that there are approximately 30,000 promises in the Bible. They are too numerous to count and too numerous to bring all to mind! God has given to us many promises such as “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4) and “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7). The Bible also describes God’s promises as being “precious.” God’s promises are priceless and invaluable. They are comforting to the soul and encouraging to the heart. Promises such as “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9) and “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the LORD upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:23-24) bring comfort and encouragement to our hearts.
How are God’s promises made possible to us? It is only because of the Lord Jesus Christ. He alone is worthy and who made us worthy to come before God and who “made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). The bible says that “all the promises of God in Him [Christ] are Yes, and in Him [Christ] Amen, to the glory of God through us” (2 Cor. 1:20). Yes ALL, not some, but all the promises of God in Christ are “yea and amen” (2 Cor. 1:20). So when you go to God in prayer claiming His promises, you will not receive these promises unless you go through Jesus Christ. The Bible says that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life” and that “no one comes to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6) and that there is “one Mediator between God and men” who is the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 2:5). So if you want to be heard by God and want to receive His promises, you need to go to God through Jesus Christ.
God’s promises are also based on His immutable nature. The Bible says that “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19). Joshua told the children of Israel before his death about the promises of God saying: “Behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth. And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one word of them has failed” (Joshua 23:14). God’s promises are sure and steadfast and are based on His nature! The Bible says “Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4) and that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). The Bible says that “when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you’” (Heb. 6:13-14). God’s immutable and unchangeable nature should be of a great comfort to us. The Bible says “Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (Heb. 6:17-19).
How are we to treat God’s promises? The Bible says that we should “not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12) and that “the soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich” (Prov. 13:4). God commands us that we should “not become sluggish” but to “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises” (Heb. 6:12) and “that each one of us show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end” (Heb. 6:11).
One example of a man we ought to imitate is Abraham. God promised Abraham saying: “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you” (Heb. 6:14). The Bible says that “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Rom. 4:3). God promised Abraham that He would bless him and multiply him and make him a great nation. Humanly speaking that was impossible for Abraham was old and childless and his wife had passed the age of childbearing. But God told Abraham: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward” (Gen. 15:1) and He brought Abraham outside and said to him: “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be” (Gen. 15:5). The Bible says that Abraham “who, contrary to hope, in hope believed; so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Rom. 4:18-21). The Bible says in Hebrews 6:15 that “after he patiently endured, he obtained the promise” (Heb. 6:15).
The Bible says to “take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience” (James 5:10). Consider the example of Sarah also who “judged Him faithful who had promised” (Heb. 11:11). And finally consider the examples of the men and women in Hebrews chapter 11 – that great chapter of the heroes of faith “who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, OBTAINED PROMISES, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Heb. 11:33-34). The Bible commands us to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb. 10:23) and that we should “not cast away our confidence, which has great reward. For we have need of endurance, so that after we have done the will of God, we may receive the promise” (Heb. 10:35-36). - Peter S.