Promises, Promises

"God is the God of promise. He keeps his word, even when that seems impossible; even when the circumstances seem to point to the opposite" (Colin Urquhart).

How many times have you found yourself pushing a trolley down supermarket aisles and thought "there must be a better way!"? For most people, the weekly shop is a chore they'd like to avoid. When e-commerce started to boom a few years ago, the Internet looked like a way to dodge this boring task. Like a lot of other promises of the dot-com era, online grocery shopping hasn't set the world on fire. The struggles of two high-profile US online grocers deflated a lot of the hype, as did the stalling of plans by online grocers in Australia and elsewhere to rapidly expand their delivery areas. They all had a promising idea: help people avoid the supermarkets and the business would roll in, it was thought. The only problem was that to service these customers, grocers needed to build warehouses and courier systems to get the groceries out to customers which made it hard for companies to pay for all their development programs and still make a profit.

So, another promise of the technology age has fallen on stony ground. Computer technology also promised a paperless office, but my desk is littered with print-outs. These promises, and others like them, lacked the necessary end vision to ensure their success. Not so the promises of God Ė designed to support, comfort and assist, and with an end vision. There is that wonderful offer: "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." (2 Pet 1:3,4).

So what can we learn from Godís promises? We can have confidence about the future in these times of global economic uncertainty. We can know that God is faithful. We can know that God has a plan. From the rescue of the Hebrew slaves in Egypt; Godís promise of the arrival of the messenger, John the Baptist; the birth of His son; through to the witness of countless men and women of this present age who have called upon His name, Godís promises are real.

So many promises today fail because they are paper promises Ė easily given and quickly blown away. Not so the promises of God: "I will bless Thee", Gen. 12:2; "I will not fail Thee", Josh. 1:5; "I will heal Thee", 2 Kings 20:5; "I will satisfy Thee", Ps. 132:15. Within those four promises alone, God promised the birth of a great nation; God promised safety and security and that He would be with them always; God promised healing for Hezekiah; God promised abundant provisions and to satisfy the hungry.

The promises of God are real. They have an end vision. They are not based on what seems on the surface to be a good idea. God does not need warehouses and courier services to deliver those promises. They are not promises based on hype and the prospect of profit. Relying on the promises of God is a better way. Trust Him.

"Show us your unfailing love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation. I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints-- but let them not return to folly." (Psa 85:7,8)

Pastor Ron Clarke

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