Promises and Faith
Updated: Aug 10, 2022
Sunday morning during the Divine Service we heard from the Word of God (Genesis, Hebrews, and Luke) encouraging us to walk by faith as the saints before us. We are to trust that Jesus, our Lord, is indeed living and actively ruling all things heaven and earth. That He has made promises, that those promises find their yes in Jesus—their fulfillment--and that He wills and works to fulfill promises still. By faith Sarah considered God to be faithful, Him who promised. And this was the message for the sermon and hymns for the day. God is indeed faithful and true. The words He speaks to us are truth, and He himself is truth. (John 14, Heb. 6:18) Therefore, as Sarah understands, we too understand that God’s words and promises are true and will be fulfilled. How do we know? Because He is risen from the dead! We grasp His words by faith, no longer anxious about this day or the next, what we will eat or what we will wear, and so on.
In the first verse of Hebrews 11 the writer of the epistle describes faith for us. It is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” As Christians, the object of this assurance and conviction, the certainty and hope, is the risen Jesus and His words. He speaks and it is accomplished. He promises and it is fulfilled. You do not have to guess or hope that Jesus is trustworthy and faithful. It has been recorded for you from Genesis to Revelation. God said he will crush the heel, and he has. God said "let there be," and there was. God said the suffering servant would come to bind up the brokenhearted and release the captives. He said He would heal the blind and carry our sorrows and shame, and in Christ’ life, death, and resurrection, He has! As Sarah puts her trust in Him because He is faithful, so St. Paul tells Timothy the same. (2 Tim. 2:13)
The thought came to me this morning--what promises has He made to you, His Church, His children? There are so many scattered throughout the Scriptures, but I wanted to give you a handful to consider. These are a few from the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to John.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
“He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.”
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
“A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.”
Promises like these are what we hold to with assurance, certainty, conviction. And not only these but all the oaths and promises our Lord has made to forgive us, to renew us, to strengthen us, to be our shield, and refuge, to help us when we are weary, to be with us and not forsake us and on and on.
Though the old Adam within us and the world around us tell us that God is a liar, that He has abandoned us, His way is oppressive, or that He cannot be trusted, we are sure and certain His way is good and right and the place where true life may be found. We trust Him. We trust His word. We trust His promises. He is risen, indeed!
“Do not fear, little flock…” “Do not worry…” (Luke 12)
“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (1 Ch 16:34)
There are so many promises given to you in His Word, what is your favorite? Which one do you think about most often?
(all quotes: The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson)