The God Who Keeps His Promises

by Jacob Hudgins

hands shaking on a promiseBehold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah”(Jer 33:14).

We are used to people who don’t keep their word. Politicians offer the world on the campaign trail, yet often struggle to deliver. In business matters, signed contracts matter a lot more than words. With disturbing regularity we struggle to keep our commitments—from lunch appointments to marriage vows. When this is the case, it is easy to see how we could struggle with doubting that God will keep his word.

God doesn’t forget about his promises. Sometimes people break their word because they forget exactly what they have promised. Here God reassures his people through Jeremiah: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah”(Jer 33:14). The time is coming when I will do what I said I would do. He is not yet ready to fulfill it, but the time is coming soon. Peter says of Jesus’ promise to return: “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all reach repentance”(2 Pet 3:9). Whatever we may decide about the reasons why God waits to fulfill certain promises, the problem is never that he has forgotten.

God hasn’t lost the power. Sometimes people break their promises because they don’t have the ability they thought they would. A politician finds the realities of his office limit him. We are older or weaker or have less money than we anticipated when we made the promise. God is not so. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”(James 1:17). God is able to give every perfect gift and he never changes. He hasn’t lost the power.

God hasn’t changed his mind. Sometimes people don’t do what they say because they decide they no longer feel the way they did when they made the promise. Yet “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever”(Heb 13:8). While we may not know all of God’s purposes, we can be certain that they are not constantly changing. He will do what he says.

All of these thoughts give us confidence in the faithfulness of God. “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ”(Rom 10:17). We can trust God. He will save us as he has promised. Jesus will return as he has promised. We will live with him in eternity as he has promised.

People are fickle, but we serve a God who keeps his promises.

Last modification: Wed 9 Jan 2019