“God never made a promise that was too good to be true.”
―Dwight L. Moody
The promises you put your confidence in are only as good as the one making them, right? Right.
So when Psalm 138 says,
I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. [vs. 2, 3]
Well, maybe yes—maybe no—it depends.
We need to know if a promise is unconditional or conditional.
Taking scripture out of context can cause us real problems when the word of God is making a “conditional” promise. Unconditional promises are written in stone. They are going to happen period!
On the other hand, conditional promises depend on my meeting certain requirements. And, it’s important to know which promise is which.
My past experiences will also affect my beliefs.
I grew up in a “Christian” home, where we went to church as a family on Sunday, but the rest of the week it was basically every man for himself. My parents preached one kind of life to their children but led quite another. It made for a great deal of confusion!
Their poor choices had a trickle down effect. The consequences of those choices? Were children who heard the Bible regularly, but saw very little of it lived out in front of them. My parents lack of trust and poor behavior became a license for their children to do the same, and those choices had consequences, for my parents and their children.
I realized after ten years as a prodigal, it wasn’t God who was at fault for all the pain in my life, it was me.
God’s promises were true whether I believed in them or not.
The consequences of not believing in them were equally true.
If you are struggling to believe in God’s promises because of things in your past, here is a prayer I found that might help:
Please take away my pain and despair of yesterday and any unpleasant memories and replace them with Your glorious promise of new hope. Show me a fresh Holy Spirit-inspired way of relating to negative things that have happened.
I ask You for the mind of Christ so I can discern Your voice from the voice of my past.
I pray that former rejection and deep hurts will not color what I see and hear now. Help me to see all the choices I have ahead of me that can alter the direction of my life.
I ask You to empower me to let go of the painful events and heartaches that would keep me bound.
Thank You for Your forgiveness that You have offered to me at such a great price. Pour it into my heart so I can relinquish bitterness hurts and disappointments that have no place in my life. Please set me free to forgive those who have sinned against me and caused me pain and also myself.
Open my heart to receive Your complete forgiveness and amazing grace. You have promised to bind up my wounds Psalm 147:3 and restore my soul Psalm 23:3 .
Help me to relinquish my past, surrender to You my present, and move to the future You have prepared for me.
I ask You to come into my heart and make me who You would have me to be so that I might do Your will here on earth.
I thank You Lord for all that’s happened in my past and for all I have become through those experiences.
I pray You will begin to gloriously renew my present.”
―Sue Augustine, When Your Past Is Hurting Your Present: Getting
Beyond Fears That Hold You Back
Lord, with all my heart I thank you. I will sing your praises before the armies of angels. I face your Temple as I worship, giving thanks to you for all your loving-kindness and your faithfulness, for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.
When I pray, you answer me and encourage me by giving me the strength I need. Every king in all the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord, for all of them shall hear your voice. Yes, they shall sing about Jehovah’s glorious ways, for his glory is very great. Yet though he is so great, he respects the humble, but proud men must keep their distance.
Though I am surrounded by troubles, you will bring me safely through them. You will clench your fist against my angry enemies! Your power will save me.
The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your loving-kindness, Lord, continues forever.
Don’t abandon me—for you made me. Psalm 138
Seeds for Trust #10
“God is a promise keeper especially in times of hardship:
- He brings comfort in times of mourning
- He wipes tears in times of weeping
- He brings laughter in times of sadness
- He brings joy in times of an anxiety attacks
- He brings provision in times of lack
- He brings peace in times of distraction
- He brings healing in times of illness
- He brings solution in times of trouble
The list goes on and His promises are ‘Yes and Amen.”
― Euginia Herlihy