“God’s Promises are Dependable”
Years ago, I read that someone had counted all of God’s promises in the Bible, and they came up with the figure 3,000. Sometime later I read that someone else said there were 30,000. Now, I just finished reading that someone else says that there are 40,000. Regardless of the number of promises God has given us in His word — are they good? Can we count on them? Are they dependable?
Someone wrote, “There is no quality more valuable in people than dependableness.”
The Apostle Paul saw this quality in his God. He saw God not just as a “promise-maker” but, also as a “promise-keeper.”
In 2 Corinthians 1:20-22, he wrote —
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘yes’ in Christ. And so, through Him, the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership on us, and put His spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
The apostle touches on several things in these verses, but the one thing that stands out in my mind is the ‘dependableness’ of our God. He had promised to come to Corinth to visit the church. Something came up and he was unable to come. There were critics in the church who began to say that Paul was not dependable and even went a step further and indicated that the promises in God’s word were not dependable as well. This mind-set really got to Paul, so he wrote to repudiate it.
In 2 Corinthians 1:19, he wrote, “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by me, Silas and Timothy, was not ‘yes’ and ‘no’, but in Him it has always been ‘yes.’” God is not an unchangeable and uncertain person. He is our Rock of ages. His word is certain and His work is enduring. His throne is eternal. We can trust Him and His promises.
God never forgets His word. I suspect that some hope that He does, but be assured He remembers His word and He keeps it.
• • In Genesis 3:15, God promised us a Redeemer but He waited 4,000 years to fulfill it.
• • He Promised Abraham a son, but a quarter of century of testing took place first.
• • He promised Abraham a land for his inheritance and though 400 years of trial took place, the land was at last possessed.
• • He promised Jeremiah, that after 70 years of captivity, his people would be able to return to their homeland and the promise was kept.
• • He promised Daniel that after 483 years, Messiah would appear and He did.
• • The Lord Jesus promised the coming of the Holy Spirit and He arrived on the day of Pentecost.
Listen to the promise made by Jesus in Matthew 5:18 – “For I assure you, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass from the law until all are accomplished.” In Matthew 24:35, He said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, buy My words will never pass away.”
1. Notice the little word “all” in Matthew 5:18.
• • That word conveys the idea of a great number and large variety.
• • Each one is like gold because God cannot lie. Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man who lies, or a son of man who changes His mind. Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fill?”
• • As we go through the scriptures, I believe we will see that God’s promises are especially suited to complement each of us.
2. Notice the “YES in Christ” in 2 Corinthians 1:20. “For everyone of God’s promises is ‘YES’ in Him. Therefore the ‘AMEN’ is also through Him for God’s glory through us.” In your mind, picture heaven with an enormous checkbook. Every one of those checks is endorsed by the Creator and Mediator– Jesus Christ. He guarantees that these checks/promises are good. You never have to worry about insufficient funds. The whole world is His. So are the cattle on a 1,000 hills and the wealth in every mine.
3. We are reassured by His promises in the scriptures. As I look at this passage, it seems to me that God not only assures me but He reassures me that His word can be trusted. Listen to Jeremiah 31:1-3 …” at that time” – this is the LORD’s declaration – “I will be God of all the families of Israel, and they will be My people.” This is what the LORD says: “They found favor in the wilderness – the people who survived the sword. When Israel went to find rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.”
God reassured Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 when the apostle was troubled about his thorn in the flesh —
“My grace is sufficient for you. There is no lack with God.”
Remember, He promises in 2 Corinthians 1:20, “no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘YES’ in Christ.” He is our sufficiency and reassurance.
4. I love the word ‘AMEN’ in 2 Corinthians 1:20. It is our response to God’s promise. It means “SO BE IT!” It is an affirmation of our faith –
God said it,
I believe it,
That settles it!
It must delight our God when He hears us shout “AMEN” to one of His promises.
Hebrews 11:6 says, “Now without faith, it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.” Not only does He give us His precious blood and His perfect righteousness, but His own faith too. In Him we are able to embrace all of the fullness of His grace.
5. All of this is for the glory of God.
When we believe God and embrace His promises, as they are fulfilled, we give glory to God.
He wants to work in us.
He also wants to work through us to accomplish His sovereign plan and purposes. 2 Corinthians 1:20 — “Therefore the AMEN is also through Him for God’s glory through us.”
“Every time we embrace one of His promises, we show to the heavenly powers as well as the world around us the resources and sufficiency of our God, and we shed more glory upon His name and the victorious work of His dear Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Dr. A. B. Simpson.
Dear reader, I hope as we have probed this passage about the promises of God, that you have become convinced of the dependableness of God.
By His grace,