When I visit with my grandchildren throughout the week, invariably I hear the middle grandson saying “Nana, I pinky swear” after he asks for me to give him his last piggy back ride. We intertwine our small fingers and say “pinky swear” that this is the last piggy ride. Does this always work? Absolutely not–but it brings on the giggles–and then we talk about this gesture as a promise and what it means to promise another person something. Lesson learned perhaps for a brief moment but hopefully he will remember this as he gets older.
What is a promise? According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a promise is:
- A statement telling someone that you will definitely do something or that something will definitely happen in the future;
- An indication of future success or improvement (someone who shows promise);
- Something will happen in the future.
We make promises to others throughout our lives whether it is to our children, spouses, teachers, bosses, and even to God. We agree to do “something for someone or that something will happen in the future” and give our word. When we make a promise, we need to also follow through on what we have promised. That, I believe, is the hardest part. Many of us have broken our promises to someone and in the end the broken promise has caused hurt feelings.
So what does God’s Word have to say about promises, and what does God’s promises mean for us?
Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (NIV) God promises to be with us now and in the future as we walk with Him.
Ephesians 3:14-16: “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,,,,: *(NIV) God promises to strengthen us through the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Matthew 7:7: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (NIV) God promises to answer our prayers if we ask, seek, and knock.
Psalm 91:2: “I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (NIV) God promises to protect us–He is our shield and our fortress.
Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV) God promises to give us rest from our weariness and our burdens.
Philippians 4:19: “And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) God promises to take care of all our needs.
The Word of God is filled with many promises which declare God’s love for us. Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (NIV) He promises to never change and to never withhold “that good and perfect gift from above.”
May the Lord help each of us to call upon and rely upon God’s promises as we continue to walk on our journey with Him.