Promises tend to be cheap and easy to come by. I have given a few out in my time. I promise to do A if you let me to this now; I promise I will do this, or that, or won’t do this, or that if… I have tried to drop those words from my vocabulary because things happen. I have watched kids be disappointed because someone promised them something and due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, the promise gets broken. The intentions were not always manipulative or ill intended. The person wanted to follow through, but for whatever reason it just did not happen. The disappointment and hurt is so much greater when a promise is attached. There’s something about a promise that makes words more powerful and mean more. They attach closer to our hearts and our hopes.
This is where God is so different from us. When He promises something He follows through. It does not always look like I want it to, and it does not always play out in the timing I desire, but it does happen in the fullness of time, just as He promised it would. I have started thinking about Christmas and the Advent Season and how I will focus my time and even my words here, and I am reminded of the very first promise by God given way back in Genesis 3:15 that promises that Jesus will come and defeat Satan. There are many thousands of years between Genesis 3 and Matthew 1. There is about 400 years of silence between the last promises in Malachi and the cry of the God breaking forth into chronos time. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. Such a crazy thing to think about. No wonder the holy people struggled so much with this fulfillment of God’s promise. The timing and the way did not make sense to their finite minds.
Lately I have been reminding myself and others that God is working all things out for our good and His glory. I am saying it over and over. It is something I want to fully walk in. I want to see more fully, and hear more clearly God’s fulfillment of promises in my life, the life of those around me, the church, and in the world. I do not want to miss them. I do not want to miss Him. I know so many times I have because I was in a hurry, or looking for the promise to be fulfilled in the way I had suggested. This answer could not possibly be in response to that promise from God. It does not make sense to my finite mind. I am thankful that God does not wait for me to understand what He is up to before He follows through on His promises big and corporate, or personal. We would all be in trouble.
My gratitude today is focused on God’s character of faithfulness that He keeps His word. If He promises something it will come to pass, not always in the way or time I think, but it will. I am thankful that He is a good God who is generous and patient. He knows when the fullness of time is, and what the actual fulfillment to His promise is, since He is the one who made it. I am thankful that He cares about mankind, but that He also cares about me as an individual, and is working all things out for His glory and my good. As I look at all the ways He has been faithful to His word, I desire to take Him at His word and remember what He says about it, “So shall My (God’s) word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 He’s a God of His word, trustworthy and true, and for that, and more I am grateful.