Summary: The promises of God are certain, complete, collective, constructive and conditional.
HOLDING GOD’S PROMISES
Back in 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went from Sweden to the heart of Africa to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction. In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to set out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area.
This was a huge step of faith. At the village they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his town for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts’. They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. The only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week. Svea Flood-a tiny woman only four feet, eight inches tall-decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, she succeeded. But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea Flood remained near the village alone.
Then, of all things, Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth, the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina. The delivery, however, was exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. She lasted only another seventeen days. Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. He dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife, and then took his daughter back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he snarled, "I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife, and I obviously can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life." With that, he headed for the port, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself. Within eight months both the Ericksons were stricken with a mysterious malady and died within days of each other.
This couple wanted to serve God and yet it seemed that everything they worked for was in vain. Have you ever felt like that? Perhaps you have asked the question about the situation you are currently in:
How can anything good come from this death?
How can anything good come from my sickness?
How can anything good come from rape or abuse?
Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose.”
This passage is a promise. Like a hand holding on to yours with 5 fingers let me suggest that there are 5 things this passage says about the promises of God:
1. His Promises are CERTAIN - we know
Num 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
There are many things in life that I am not sure about. I am not certain that I am financially secure. I am not certain how or when I will die. I am not certain my children will outlive me.
We live in a world of uncertainty. Without God there is no hope. For the person who trusts in God, uncertainty is OK because God is in control: that is our confidence!
2 Cor 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.
It was a custom, which passed over from the synagogues to the Christian assemblies, that when a person had read a passage of scripture or prayed to God, the others responded Amen, and thus made the substance of what was uttered their own. The word "amen" is an interesting word. It was transliterated directly from the Hebrew into Greek and then into Latin and into English and many other languages, so that it is practically a universal word. It has been called the best known word in human speech. The word is related to - in fact, almost identical - to the Hebrew word for "trust" (AMAN), or faithfulness. Thus, it came to mean "sure" or "truly", an expression of absolute trust and confidence.