“You are faithful to fulfil every promise you’ve made. You manifest yourself as kindness in all you do.” Psalm 145:13 (TPT)
I was reminded of that truth personally a little while ago in the simplest of ways. Our daughter Liberty had been asking for a cat for quite some time. On several occasions she would slip something like this into her prayers, “Thank you God that you are giving me a cat. I’d like one that is fluffy….and orange….but if you can’t do orange, then black is ok”. This went on for literally years. Her persistence eventually paid off.
One night Ben and I just looked at each other and laughingly said, “So, when are we getting this cat?” (I didn’t want my child doubting the power of prayer, especially when so often we’re invited to be a part of the solution). I sat up in the bed, pulled out my laptop, went straight to google and started typing. Best places to buy a cat. Best breeds for kids. Things I need to know as a new cat owner etc.
Half way through my frantic search of a cute (and relatively affordable cat) I felt God gently whisper something to me, “Sabrina, what do you think I do every time I make you a promise? I start working on it. I start orchestrating the details. You may not be able to see it, but in exactly the same way you’re pulling things together for your daughter, I’m doing even more on your behalf.”
Oh wow, that got me. The line from a popular worship song began to echo in my head. “Even when I can’t see it, you’re working. Even when I can’t feel, it you’re working. You never stop. You never stop working.”
So often we can feel like the promise is a million miles away, but little do we know that God is actually working it out. God is actually pulling things together. Our little Libby was asleep in the room next door and she had no idea that mum and dad were about to fulfil that wish of hers. How much more can we trust God?
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV) tell us, “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.”
Here are 4 simple truths to encourage you.
1. Pause in His Presence (Perspective)
I don’t know about you, but I often find myself rushing, racing, stressing, striving. Trying to reach for the promises in my own strength, trying to calm my anxious thoughts independent of Him.
Just a couple of days ago my son was having his own moment of pain and angst. He had jammed his hand in his sister’s doll house and came racing up the stairs. He was obviously hurt, crying, wailing, trying to explain what had happened. I grabbed him and told him to take a breath. He was so frantic, literally walking in circles. I simply said to him, “Lincoln, I can’t help you if you don’t stop.” I immediately felt a resonance, like God had whispered that line to me so many times before.
“Sabrina, I can’t help you if you don’t stop. I can’t help you unless you pause. Take a breath.”
Lincoln finally let me hug him, we ran his hand under cold water and put on some ice. I held him close and said a quick prayer. I felt his little body exhale. The tears stopped, when he stopped.
There’s so much power in the pause. There’s actually a Hebrew word for it, Selah. It’s found 74 times in the Bible and literally just means to stop, to pause.
Psalm 46:10 reminds us, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (MSG)
2. Play Your Part (Participation)
There is literally nothing we can do to earn God’s love for us. Salvation is a free gift. We receive it, we don’t earn. We receive imputed righteousness. Which simply means we are in right standing with God because of what Jesus has done. Not our own behaviour, not our own good works. But all Him. So, don’t hear what I’m not saying.
Playing your part doesn’t mean earning the promise, it simply means responding to the invitation to participate in it.
God’s promises are not isolated or independent from us, but actually very much intertwined with us. I feel like so often I can sit back and just say to myself, “Well God, if it’s your will, make it happen.” But He’s not a genie in a bottle, He’s a God that wants relationship. This faith journey is a joint venture, one that requires my participation as much as it does God’s. Check out some of these amazing verses below. You can see how often God’s promises require our response.
3. Persevere Through Pain (Maturity)
Don’t lose your faith halfway to the promise. Don’t quit in the middle. I had the privilege of chatting with one of our Pastors, Mandy, a few months ago. During our conversation we began to talk about our kids and our families, and she shared with me a glimpse of her testimony. Many years ago, when they first started trying to fall pregnant they faced multiply health challenges and ended up enduring 14 miscarriages. Yes, you read that correctly, 14. 14 children loved and lost. No doubt, there was very real pain and heartache that followed each time. Until one day, miraculously they conceived, and she gave birth to a son, Joshua. Two more miscarriages followed then their daughter Paige came along.
No doubt it took some tenacious faith to endure, to persist, to simply not quit in the middle of the mess.
But, in the end she saw the breakthrough. Through the trial she saw the triumph. And even more incredible was her perspective on it all. As she retold the story, she said something so profound, “Little did I realise that my journey wasn’t just about me, it was for the many mums that I would meet in my future and be able to give them hope.” Wow! That is grace-filled faith. Our promises are not just for ourselves, but for others. Be encouraged by these verses.
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!” Psalm 27:10 (TPT)
“So don’t allow your hearts to grow dull or lose your enthusiasm but follow the example of those who fully received what God has promised because of their strong faith and patient endurance.” Hebrews 6:12-14 (TPT)
There are certainly still things I am believing for in my life. As there are in your life too. Keep hanging on friend. Your story isn’t over. If you’re going through hell, don’t stop there.
4. Pursue the Keeper (Intimacy)
Do you know what’s better than the promise? Is God, Himself. God our keeper. Because He doesn’t just heal, He is healing. He doesn’t just provide, He is our provider. And His presence in our life supersedes the gifts that He gives. Keep believing for your breakthrough, but in the middle of it, remember that you already have Him. You can have peace and strength today as you fall into the arms of your keeper.
Article supplied with thanks to Sabrina Peters. Sabrina is a writer, pastor and relationships blogger. She is passionate about Jesus and changing the way people think about God & sex.