When I bought a new Bible several years ago, I transferred all my underlinings, highlightings, and notes over to my new Bible from my two other old Bibles. I had two reasons for this. One was because I wanted to see how much I had grown since receiving the older Bible as a high school graduation present, and the second reason was because I wanted that flow of familiarity when I turned the crisp, new pages of my new Bible.
I was astounded at how many promises God had made me over the decades. There was one particular passage that had several years notated beside it indicating God’s promise to me in 1989,1995 and 1997 up to 2009. Each one of these years I had an employment crisis, and over the years God had promised me emphatically that He would provide all my needs. Another place had several other years notated beside a verse that dealt with God’s love for me.And another was how God turns ashes to beauty.
I recognized that God’s promises never fail. He is ever faithful just as Jeremiah said in Lamentations 3. It isn’t that I did not know it. It is that I must be reminded of it. Sad, isn’t it? We must be constantly reminded like a needy child that we are loved, that God has us engraved in His palm, and that we are wrapped around by the hand of Jesus which is wrapped in the Father’s hand, John 10:28-29, and that nothing can snatch us from God’s grasp.
I was reminded of all this when David Jeremiah spoke about the Promise Box his parents kept, and that the family read from it every morning. Reading the promises from God every morning has got to shape a confidence in God that is solid and unshakable. From experience, I know that seeing God’s promises come to fruition sends faith roots deep into the core of certainty, solidity, and the very foundation of Christ Himself.
I am convinced there is nothing that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our LORD. I am convinced not because Paul wrote those words to the Romans, but because I have experienced them for almost 60 years. I am convinced because Christ exhibited that love when He willingly went to the cross, and when God raised Him from the dead, and when I stumbled and He picked me up kissing my hurts, dusting me off and sending me back to class so my soul could stretch more.
I will share a few promises that God gave me personally in our conversations:
Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward. Genesis 15:1
This is to Abram who is about to cry out in the next sentence, to remind God of His promise to give him an heir. I love this because it is so like humans to think that we need to remind God of His promise (Genesis 12:2). God reminded Abram that He was his shield and great reward after Abram had chased down the marauders who had stolen his nephew Lot. Abram recovered Lot, and all the things that had been stolen from the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah. They had pressed upon him to take his portion of the booty as payment for the recovery. Abram said, “No. I won’t have you saying that you made me rich.”
After this magnificent feat of fighting prowess, why would God need to remind Abram that He was his shield and his great reward?
What is so interesting here is to see Abram’s response in 15:2-3. In effect, Abram says, “Yes, Your gifts are mighty, but what about my heir? What about that promise? As it stands now, my servant will be my heir.”
How often we are just like this in our impatience. How we forget the blessings of today and strive for the gifts of tomorrow, straining to circumvent God’s perfect timing. God promised, and Isaac was born. God said it would be—even though Sarah laughed in unbelief, and Abraham laughed in wonder at God’s power to make a dead womb come alive, and a dry tree fully vibrant and green again—and it was.
So I say to myself when trouble comes: Do not be afraid, Gina. God, the great I AM, is your shield, your exceedingly great reward.
What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you. (It Is No Secret What God Can Do, Stuart Hamblen, 1908-1989)
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