Have you ever been told this? Imagine needing help with something pretty big, then your best friend promises to help you. Great, right? Imagine if it took her 4 days to help you. Depending on what you needed help with, that could be hard to wait that long. You might start wondering if your friend really was going to help you. You might start thinking she’s forgotten about you. You might be tempted to just try to do it by yourself or come up with another solution.
This is what the children of Israel felt like. They had been told they were the chosen people of God. Since God’s covenant with Abraham, they waited for God to fulfill his promise of salvation. They didn’t really know how he was going to save them, but he had promised, so they were waiting. However, it didn’t take 4 days, 4 weeks or 4 years. In fact, there was a gap of 400 years where they didn’t even hear from God. It’s understandable that they started questioning things. Then one night, God’s promise was fulfilled with the birth of Jesus, the hope and salvation of the world.
The best news about this? That promise of salvation continues today and is available to us! What’s more, God has given us His Word where he makes many more promises to us. And God is good enough and powerful enough to be able to keep those promises. Having faith that God will keep His promises offers great hope, peace, and assurance to us as we navigate this life.
However, in order to have faith in God’s promises, you have to know God’s promises. The best way to know the promises of God is to read His Word. Studying the Scripture allows you to remind yourself of all the ways the Lord has promised to take care of us. For example, He promises to always be with us (Deuteronomy 31:8); He promises to have plans for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11); He promises peace beyond understanding (John 14:27); He promises to hear our prayers (1 John 5:14); He promises to work things for our good (Romans 8:28); and He promises us salvation (1 John 1:9). There are literally thousands more promises in the Bible! When you read the Bible (which hopefully you are doing every day!), make a note, underline, highlight, or star every time you read a promise from God. This helps you when you are struggling and need to remind yourself of who God is or what He has promised. You can also keep a list somewhere of all the times God fulfills His promises to you personally. Sometimes it is a promise in the Bible made to all Christians, or sometimes it is something He has done for you personally. Making a list helps you to remember how good God is, especially in the difficult times. In the Old Testament, the children of Israel often erected a monument or alter in the place where God had rescued them or done something for them. They did this so that they would have a reminder and they would tell their children about it so that they would know too (Joshua 4:21-24).
Knowing, studying, and remembering the promises of God offers us the help we need. We don’t have to worry if God has forgotten us and we don’t have to try to do it on our own. Like we are reminded at Christmas when God kept His promise to bring a Savior, we can know that God will continue to keep His promises today!