The Bible is filled with promises or prophecies from Genesis to Revelation, from God’s promise to redeem man’s sin, to His promise to return for His blood-bought bride. I’ve come to realize more and more that this is part of who our God is and how He operates.
But the best part is, our God doesn’t just make promises. He KEEPS them as well.
I’ve been doing a Bible in a Year reading plan, and right now I’m deep within the books of the prophets. I’ve always struggled to comprehend many of these scriptures. All of the complex imagery that pronounces both horrific judgment and miraculous redemption for Israel--it can be hard to follow at times. But sitting at my kitchen table the other day, reading a chapter of Ezekiel, I had an epiphany. Yes, these prophecies may at times be complex or hard to interpret, but the beauty of these scriptures is the fact that they prove something very important.
God always keeps His promises.
When reading the Bible, it may seem like no time at all has passed between each book, or even the entire old and new testaments. But often, there were large gaps of time between the writing of each book--decades or even centuries. And the books themselves can cover large spans of time as well. That means a prophecy spoken by Jeremiah about a remnant of Israelites returning to Jerusalem after 70 years of captivity in Babylon may have seemed impossible and unlikely to be fulfilled--until it was. That means that a prophecy from Isaiah about a coming Messiah seemed like a false prophecy when hundreds of years passed without anyone seeing its fulfillment--until Jesus stepped on the scene, and all of a sudden, everything changed.
Every promise made, both good and bad, in the Word (except for those of Jesus’ return and the end of days, of course) has been fulfilled. Even if sometimes it took decades, centuries, or millennia for that to happen.
God’s Word is full of promises that can apply to all of us as Chrstians, words we can cling to for comfort and encouragement. But God is also still making personal promises to His children. For instance, He gave me one when I was 15 years old.
The year was 2013 and I was attending North American Youth Congress in Louisville, KY with my youth group. At the time, I was convinced that I had found the one. I am a planner to the extreme, and my mind was already running ahead and dreaming of how this desired relationship would play out. Surely this was God’s will, right?
The second night of the conference, the message was entitled “Three Altars” and one of those three altars the minister spoke on was the altar of marriage. His point was that it’s vitally important who we marry, and God wants to bless us and His kingdom through this particular altar.
I got really fidgety in my seat. The things he was saying pulled on my heart, making me second guess everything about the so-called “one” I thought I wanted. I was running from what God was trying to tell me so hard that I could barely focus on the rest of the message or on praying with my friends.
Then a man’s voice spoke close in my ear. He said,
“The one you thought you wanted, he is not good enough. You must be patient and wait, and one day, down the road, he will come. And he will be perfect.”
I never saw the man’s face. I just assume he was the youth pastor of the group sitting behind us. But whoever he was, his words sank deep into my heart, and I wrestled with them for the entire rest of the trip. He could have been making it up, right? Maybe God didn’t actually tell him to say that to me. Maybe he was acting in his flesh and not the Spirit.
But deep inside… I knew. I knew the words were too pointed, too closely connected to my current circumstance to just be a coincidence.
Finally, on the way home, I accepted that God had truly spoken to me. It wasn’t His will for me to end up with the one I thought I wanted. But what He was taking away, He intended to replace with something much better.
For nearly three years, I waited for the fulfillment of that promise, continually having to remind myself that my future spouse was already hand-selected by God, and I would find him one day. Sometimes it felt like that day would never come.
And then, all of sudden, it did.
In 2016, I started dating THE ONE God had promised me, and I married him two years after that. And he is perfect for me, just like God said.
Now I find myself in a whole new season of waiting. And I have to remind myself nearly every day of how God fulfilled that promise to me, of how He has fulfilled promises throughout all of history. This year, He has spoken to me not just once, like before, but MULTIPLE times--through my pastor, friends, even a stranger again. He has gone out of the way to let me know He sees me. I haven’t been forgotten, even if my human mind has once again fallen into the trap of thinking that way. He knows the desire of my heart, and He is preparing to give me the fulfillment of that desire. I just have to be patient and wait.
That waiting isn’t always easy… Actually, it’s pretty much never easy. But I’ve seen that it’s worth it. So I will wait on You, Jesus. I will wait and I will praise You in advance for Your faithfulness to an imperfect mess of a human like me.
Is there a promise that you are waiting to see fulfilled? This is my hug to you across the internet and a reminder that God SEES you. He NEVER breaks a promise. So if He has given one to you, you hold on tight to it, and trust that He is working on Your behalf.
And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. ~ Luke 1:45, KJV
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. ~ Jeremiah 29:11, KJV
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass. ~ Joshua 21:45
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ~ Phillipians 1:6
And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. ~ Romans 4:21
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness... ~ 2 Peter 3:9a