Summary: Even in the best of times, promises were made and then broken, but God always keeps His promises..
II Peter 1:4-9 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”
Someone has said, “Promises are made to be broken.” In our day of selfishness and promiscuity it seems all too obvious that many promises are mere meaningless words; not worth the paper they may be written upon. The increase in divorce is clearly a reflection of the attitude of infidelity permeating culture. Marriage vows are evidently entered into with fingers crossed behind ones back. The attitude is that if anything goes wrong or if I “fall out of love” or “fall into love” (or lust) with someone else, I’ll just abandon ship and do my own thing. It doesn’t matter what damage may be done to the other parties involved, especially the innocent children of such an union. After all, I have “my rights.”
The increase in bankruptcies and bad debts reflect the same selfish attitudes. There was a time when a man’s word was his bond. A handshake was good enough to seal the most complicated contract. If he said he would pay, he would, or he would spend the rest of his life trying. A promise was a promise and was not to be broken. But, sadly, such is not the case today.
But even in the best of times, promises were made and then broken. Those with the best of intentions sometimes failed to deliver. After all, we know what road is supposed to be paved with good intentions. Promises were made that could not be kept or there just never seemed to be enough time to make good on a sincere promise. After all, fickleness and faithfulness are a part of man’s sinful condition.
I’m sure most parents and children can identify with this. I’m afraid I can. We are prone to promise more than we can deliver. Circumstances sometimes change and difficulties arise. Time has a way of waiting for no man. Our children grow up and we turn around and they are gone. Then it is too late to do some of those things we promised ourselves and those we loved so much we would do together.
I grew up in a country place surrounded by beautiful streams and lakes filled with fish. My dad, who worked very hard to support a large family of ten, was always planning to take my younger brother and me fishing. We did a lot of fishing on our own. But that was never quite the same. A fishing trip with your father was something very special. One of my most pleasant childhood memories involves a promise finally kept and a great fishing trip my father was able to make with us. When I became a father, I came to understand how difficult it is sometimes to keep such a sincere promise.
But isn’t it great that our heavenly Father has no difficulty keeping all His promises to His children? Great is His faithfulness! He never leaves us in the lurch. He has all the time, energy and ability to bring to pass His promises. There is no shadow or turning with Him. All that we need His hand has provided. All we will need in the future will come to pass according to His precious promises. We are fully persuaded with Paul that what he has promised He is able to perform.
Which of all the precious promises in the Word of God is the most precious to you? There are so many and so tremendous. His promises relating to the great doctrines of grace are overwhelming. Salvation, redemption, justification, security, separation, sanctification and eventually glorification are just a few that thrill our souls. A great number relate to His power and presence in our lives on earth as well. He has told us He will never leave nor forsake us. Can any child of His successfully accuse Him of doing so? Of course, we as faithless creatures may leave or forsake Him, but He, just as the prodigal’s father, is always lovingly, longingly; looking down the path of our backsliding, seeking our repentance and return.
But let us examine in more detail some particular precious promises God has made to the believer. We have the PRECIOUS PROMISE OF HIS PLAN AND PURPOSE FOR HIS PEOPLE. We have the PRECIOUS PROMISE OF HIS POWERFUL POTENTIAL IN OUR WORLD. We have the PRECIOUS PROMISE OF HIS PRESENCE AND PARTICIPATION IN OUR LIVES. We have the PRECIOUS PROMISE OF HIS PROVIDENTIAL PROVISION OF ALL OUR NEEDS.