“I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God…” - Psalm 71:22 (NIV).
A promise has been described as “a declaration or assurance that one will do something or that a particular thing will happen.” Promises are common in personal relations. Children to get their better act are often promised a reward for improving in something they are lacking. When someone defaults on a promise it can be considered as worse as a betrayal. Failing to keep a promise normally results into a disappointment that can permanently ruin a relation.
Any of us can relate to that incident which created great expectations in us, only to be disappointed when someone balked on the earlier promise or started changing terms. If it was of a contractual nature one may have resorted to the courts to enforce a promise. However, in many other situations, one walks away feeling crushed. Perhaps it might have been of such weight as a marriage proposal only for the suitor to forbid at the last moment. Once bitten; twice shy! Incidents such as these certainly leave a bitter taste. “I can’t trust nobody anymore,” so one declares.
One of the characteristic that define our God is that He is a promise keeper. When Abraham and Sarah were up in years without a child, and almost giving up on having a biological child, God came down and promised, “Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him” (Genesis 21:2). Elsewhere we note, “The Lord met with Balaam and put a word in his mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this word…God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:16-19).
Our God is a promise keeper. The scriptures are all full of promises He kept with man from His birth as long promised by Isaiah, “For unto us a Child is born” (Isaiah 9:6); to the pouring out of the Holy spirit, “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams” (Acts 2:17).
If you have had a promise from God be therefore encouraged that while it may seem to take years as the birth of Christ was, He does not disappoint for it is not His nature. Rather, you should hold on to that very promise, for it is not a promise of man. May your hope be of Abraham who “was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me” (Genesis 21: 5-6).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I thank you for the promises for my life which I hold on to, blessed with assurance that you will make them pass in your good time, this I pray in Jesus’s name
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“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” – ( 2 Timothy 4:7).
Fighting may be looked at as a non-desirable way of life, especially by those who are pacifists. In fact, throughout Christian history there are many who have literally taken Jesus’s admonition of “turn the other cheek” in Mathew 5:39, to mean nonresistance in the face of attack. The fact that Jesus rebuked the Apostle Peter for drawing a sword against his captors ( Mathew 26:52), means giving in to those who attack them, as a sign of humility.
Yes, of course there are moments where Christians must practice that humility and give in to those who attack them well remembering His word, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord” ( Romans 12:19). However, that said, Believers in Christ would be mistaken to imagine that they must not fight for their faith, whenever under attack. For in reality, the faith of believers is under constant attack from Satan, who comes to “kill and destroy” ( John 10:1).
Faced with this, Paul went at great length to advise Christians to “Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” ( Ephesians 6:11). To ward of constant attacks by the enemy Paul challenged us to “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” ( vv 14-17).
Paul is telling us that if you think that ours is a walk over faith where you are not going to fight back against the attacks of the enemy you are very mistaken. Fight we must, and hold our ground. The devil respects that! And when all is done, we can then gladly say, “we have fought the good fight, finished the race” and thank God Almighty we are free at last!
Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise ready to resist the attacks of the enemy, by wearing the full of armor of God, and with the sword of the Spirit, fight back to victory, this I pray in Jesus’ name!