God’s Promises

I came across this extensive article this morning and wanted to share part of it as it is quite applicable to all Christians, in particular to the Entrepreneur, business person which I am.

The Importance of God’s Promises in the Believer’s Life

The apostle Peter declares, “[God] has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (2 Pet 1:4; cf. Rom 4:18–21; 15:13).3 Both Paul and John make similar statements. “Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God” (2 Cor 7:1). “Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure” (1 John 3:2–3). Faith in God’s promises creates hope or dread, and what we anticipate tomorrow changes who we are today.

Stated differently, a fundamental way that we as Christians are to fight sin and to pursue holiness is by overcoming sinful desire by embracing higher, more beautiful desires. This is the primary thesis of Piper’s Future Grace. Sin makes deceitful promises that lure us away from God, and we battle the desires of the flesh by trusting God’s promises for a better tomorrow. We put our faith in the Lord’s promise of future grace, and in doing so we gain fresh power in our pursuit of godliness. God’s promises confront a whole host of sins.

If we are anxious about having enough, we turn from worry and heed Jesus’s call to “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,” confident that “all these things [food, clothing, shelter] will be added to you” (Matt 6:33). We engage in “prayer and supplication with thanksgiving,” trusting that God’s peace “will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:6–7) and that “my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:19). When covetousness rises in our soul, we nurture contentment and keep our lives free from the love of money by recalling promises like, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb 13:5). In our passion for sexual purity, we fight lust by remembering the promise, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt 5:8; cf. 5:29–30). Similarly, to overcome seeds of bitterness, we remember Jesus’s warning, “If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (6:15). Also, Paul motivates his charge to “repay no one evil for evil” and to “never avenge yourselves” by promising that God takes seriously all sins against his own people and will repay: “Leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’” (Rom 12:17, 19). We fight fear of man by heightening our fear of God, recalling how valuable we are to him and recognizing that the consequence of not living for his pleasure is far greater than anything man can do to us. “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matt 10:28–31). Assurance that God is already 100% for us in Christ is fundamental to battling fear of condemnation and to pursuing holiness. The only sins that we can overcome are forgiven ones, for we must move ahead in the power of blood-bought grace. Those in Christ Jesus trust that “there is … now no condemnation” (Rom 8:1), for “Christ Jesus is the one who died––more than that, who was raised––who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (8:34; cf. 8:32; John 10:27–30). Finally, to battle fear of failure, we believe promises like, “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6; cf. Jer 32:40; 1 Thess 5:23–24). Christians must recognize the importance of God’s promises for our pursuit of holiness.

But not only this, the psalmist declared, “This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life” (Ps 119:50). When we face suffering, God’s promises in Scripture supply one of the bulwarks of hope for Christians.4 We trust that God will be faithful to his word and that in his good time he will act on behalf of his own.

When tears flow, we call to mind that, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds…. The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground” (Ps 147:3, 6). When the darkness lingers, we believe that “the steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning” (Lam 3:22–23). So we “sing praises to the LORD … and give thanks to his holy name. For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps 30:4–5 [34:5–6 MT]). When fear assaults, we remember God’s words, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa 41:10). When worry grips the soul and we feel alone, YHWH’s pledge rings out: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (43:2–3). And finally, when death’s shadow draws near, our soul finds rest knowing, “The LORD is my shepherd … [and] even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not fear, for you are with me” (Ps 23:1, 4).

BY JASON DEROUCHIE

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s