The things that God has spoken to us concerning us will surely take place. We have all been worried regarding the fulfillment of His promises to us while practicing faith. Even now we worry at times owing to the task before us. Yet, His Word spoken for our sake will not fail. It is our anxiety concerning the completion of the task that causes deep worry. And sometimes we even fear His promise to fail, since the task before us is beyond human comprehension. Nevertheless, one thing is sure – when God has spoken His Word, He does it with the knowledge of everything that entails it. With His power He knows He can fulfill it. For by it He has made ways in His foreknowledge that His Word succeeds. For this reason also, it is not a wishful act to seek Him regarding a matter, which has its end in His foreknowledge.
God makes promises in order that they stand. He does it from His Word. However, in the case of some promises that are conditional we nullify them by not living for their fulfillment or act contrary to them. Still, God can make amends to them provided we again practice obedience. There are many of His promises that are unconditional. Regardless of what we did He fulfills them either by forgiving us or after disciplining us. It depends on His judgments that come from His infinite wisdom and mercy. These promises are for His purpose and glory; conditional promises test us. In any case, all His promises are meant for victory and not failure. We see this in the words of King Saul, who had to accept that what God has spoken will take place, though He did not wish for it. “Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand” (1 Sam. 24:20).
Though Saul earnestly wanted his son Jonathan to succeed him to the throne, he knew God has changed his mind concerning it because of his irreversible sin. God spoke to him by Samuel and though he accepted his sin, he went away disheartened; he did not oblige to it. He took matters into his hands and went against God’s wish. He kept chasing David to put him to death, but God was saving him. The actions of David too toward Saul proved that God chose a more righteous man than him to be the king. Saul to the end remained adamant regarding turning to God. But God’s promise to David stood owing to his faith and obedience toward Him. Hence, though he later sinned in Uriah’s case, it stood; he obeyed God’s chastisement. “Six were born to him in Hebron, and there he reigned seven years and six months. And in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years” (1 Chron. 3:4).
Every believer can acquire the promises of God. They are for joy, obedience and God’s glory. And He fulfills each and every one of them by our faith and obedience. His promises are meant for believing Him to do the best and the necessary for us. A promise, whether conditional or unconditional, is delayed if we are insubordinate. It is fulfilled when our obedience toward Him is complete. Yet, only a conditional promise that is fulfilled is revoked for disobedience. God teaches us of these things when we are intimate with Him. When we are honest before Him, we know His promises will come to pass. “My words are from the uprightness of my heart, and my lips speak knowledge sincerely” (Job 33:3). No matter the hurdles and sufferings we face we will see the fulfillment of His promises. David faced many difficulties in order to see God’s promise and he did not lose faith and self-control, but waited until God made way for it.
Just as God’s promise comes by faith and obedience, its fulfillment also seeks obedience and trust in Him. A promise remains a promise until we begin living for it. When we remember the reason He gave us His promises, we can never forget their importance and need. It is by His love for us that He gives them to us. The psalmist said, “Who [God] remembered us in our low estate, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (Ps. 136:23). His promises lift us up so that we are no longer weak and dispirited. They give us renewed strength, because they make us believe that He has not forsaken us. At the right time He makes His promise so that we are able to trust Him and trust Him to deliver us. Even when we have sinned against Him and then have returned to Him, He comes to us with a promise and comforts us. Not only do we hate our sin, but we also praise Him with thanksgiving. Many pains and sufferings are overcome and removed with His promises; for they always give the true hope for joy and peace.
Consider the effect of God’s promise which He made for the whole mankind through the prophet. “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations” (Isa. 42:1). It had an immense effect in that Christ is able to free all who believe in Him from the chains of sin, falsity and injustice. Every promise of God has a purpose and in that there is His deliverance. When we are obedient to Him, there is no power or matter that can stop it from happening. Some of His promises take time for fulfillment, but it is because He has planned it for our benefit. He knows exactly the time of our honor, joy and reward. He is building faith, patience and trust in us while we wait on Him. “Therefore prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, ‘For good reason they have made you desolate and crushed you from every side, that you would become a possession of the rest of the nations and you have been taken up in the talk and the whispering of the people’’” (Ezek 36:3).
At times when we have been struck from all sides, we see no hope of recovery. At these times God avails us His promises. While He is building us up for His glory, He adds His Word to our sufferings so that in the days to come we appear greater than those around us. Trusting in God and believing in the gospel is not an easy task, primarily because of the opposition one faces from the enemies of darkness. Many times one has to live in fear for believing Christ; others have to fight quietly the temptations and trials of the Adversary. Yet, in all these God never leaves His saved ones. He revives them with His promises; for they are meant to take place. Sometimes He allows trials to fall upon us so that we are tested and refined for His glory. Through all of it He makes sure that we do not lose courage and hope. So, He gives us His magnificent promises from the Word. Let us make God our promise maker, who is able to do all things by His might. “In that day, declares the LORD, ‘I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness’” (Zech. 12:4).