Promises, Promises

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

God’s Book is a veritable storehouse of promises—over seven thousand of them. Not just eloquently worded thoughts that make you feel warm all over, but verbal guarantees in writing, signed by the Creator Himself, in which He declares He will do or will refrain from doing specific things.

But, are all seven-thousand-plus promises ours to claim? I mean, am I free to choose any one of them and believe it’s for me here in my situation today?

Many—dare I say most?—of the scriptural promises are ours to claim. But all? Hardly. To claim “every promise in the Book” could be disillusioning at best, disastrous at worst.

To begin with, some promises are uniquely historical in nature. They were made to specific individuals in a particular era and fit only that unique combination. Take this one for example: “Your wife shall have a son.” I can just see some well-meaning husband “claiming the promise” of Genesis 18:10. After all, “it’s in the Book!”

At the risk of being a party pooper, I recommend a closer look at that promise. It was given specifically to Abraham, and it came as a direct fulfillment of God’s earlier covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12:1–3) in which He promised to make of him “a great nation.” That promise of a son was uniquely Abraham and Sarah’s to claim.

There are also conditional promises . . . words of assurance offered to those who first fulfill their part of the arrangement. The promise is absolutely reliable, but it is linked to a condition. An example? You claim God’s promise to direct your steps to lead you clearly into His will. After all, Proverbs 3:6 says, “He will make your paths straight,” plain and simple.

Wait a minute. Check out the context: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart . . . do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him [our part], and He will make your paths straight [God’s promise].”

Why do I make such a big deal of all this? Because there are numerous, pure-hearted, trusting people in the Body who latch on to such promises and build their hopes high, only to suffer great pain later in the backwash of disillusionment.

In case all this is making you feel a little shaky, I need to reaffirm that most of those seven thousand promises are still ours to count on. Need a few classic examples? Isaiah 26:3–4; Romans 8:32, 38–39; Galatians 6:9; Psalm 37:7, 23, 28; 2 Corinthians 4:16–18; Hebrews 6:10. Look ’em up.

Take your stand on the promises of God. Thousands of ’em are right there, waiting to be used.

Make sure you’re standing on the promises and not outside the premises.

Take your stand on the promises of God. Thousands of them are right there, waiting to be used.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Taken from Day by Day with Charles Swindoll by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2000 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Posted in Christian Living and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.