Standing or Staggering on the Promises of God?

“There is a living God; He has spoken in the Bible; He means what He says and will do all He has promised.” – Hudson Taylor

The above quote is written on the big chalkboard in my kitchen, and serves as a continual reminder of the trustworthiness of my God!  As a child of God, if we know that our Heavenly Father has given us a promise through His Word, then we can stand on it! There is no need to worry or fret; what He has said, He will do in His perfect timing. Our responsibility is to continue serving God while we “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him”.  Psalm 37:7

I am reminded of one of my favorite Bible stories – the account of Hannah as she prayed for a son. 1 Samuel 1:10 describes her emotional state: “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.”  Later on in verse 17, we read the priest Eli’s words of assurance that he gives her from the Lord,  “Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.”  I love reading, in verse 18, what the Bible says about Hannah’s response to what Eli had said:  “And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.”  Hannah had received a promise from the Lord! There was no more need to go without eating. There was no more need to be sad. God had given her a promise and in His perfect time, He would bring it to pass!

Too often, I’m afraid, we read stories such as Hannah’s with an attitude of, “well, that’s just another one of those miracles in the Bible” and, instead of being encouraged in our faith, we continue on in unbelief. But, doesn’t God’s Word say, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Hebrews 13:8)   Has God’s ability lessened over time?

Although it was many years before Abraham received the promise from God that he would become the father of many nations, we read of his faith in Romans 4:18-20, “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;”

The last part of verse 20 says of Abraham, “but was strong in faith, giving glory to God”.  Abraham’s strong faith honoured God!  A portion of Matthew Henry’s comments on this verse are:

“The strength of his faith appeared in the victory it won over his fears. And hereby he gave glory to God; for, as unbelief dishonours God by making him a liar (1John 5:10), so faith honours God by setting to its seal that he is true, (John 3:33). Abraham’s faith gave God the glory of his wisdom, power, holiness, goodness, and especially of his faithfulness, resting upon the word that he had spoken. Among men we say, “He that trusts another, gives him credit, and honours him by taking his word;” thus Abraham gave glory to God by trusting him.”

Today, are we standing or staggering on the promises of God?

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Saviour;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

(lyrics by R. Kelso Carter)

~ Rachel ~

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