Why does God give us promises? If having a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ was His only agenda, why wouldn’t He take us right to heaven after we receive salvation?
God’s promises Mold us and Make us. They Mold us into the image of Christ and the Make us into coheirs with Him, claiming our inheritance on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6.10, Romans 8.17 and Ephesians 1.11).
We first receive His promises in our state of selfishness, but by the time those promises come to fruition, we have matured through the trials we faced in attaining them. God’s promises are like tethers from us to the throne, drawing us closer in relationship with God. As we reach for these promises, God is able to transform us into His best image of us. But we can’t let go or give up.
The theme of God’s promises is all throughout the Bible. And we can get a glimpse of how these promises affect people by their reaction to them.
God’s promises tear you to pieces: (Hosea 6.1 ).
God’s promises rip out your heart (Ezekiel 36.26).
God’s promises build your faith: (Colossians 2.7).
God’s promises give you a purpose: (Jeremiah 29.11).
God’s promises mature your faith, mold you into the image of Christ, bring you closer to the throne of God and make you a servant to love. God’s promises have nothing to do with self-promotion or self-glory and everything to do with loving God and others. They will bring you to your knees in prayer, desperation and repentance. And at one point in time, His promises will die in the natural, so they can be resurrected in the supernatural.
- Naaman’s promise of healing (2 Kings 5.1-19): He was a commander of a great army and had wealth, authority and prestige. He had done everything in his power to rid himself of leprosy. Desperate to be healed, he even listened his wife’s young Jewish maid who said that a prophet could heal him. When Naaman visited Elisha, he expected the man of God to perform a miracle in might and strength. But Elisha simply said to take a dip in the Jordan River. Naaman became enraged. Here he had done everything he could do to rid himself of leprosy, and he couldn’t believe that his promise could come so easily. He had been torn to pieces.
- The Shunammite Woman’s promise of a son (2 Kings 4:8-37): She was a wealthy woman who had no children. She had done everything in her strength to conceive. She could afford the best doctors, and she could support the prophets. By the time Elisha claimed that her promise son would come, she wouldn’t believe it. She cried out for Elisha not to lie to her. She couldn’t believe that after all these years, her promise son would come so easily. Her heart had been torn out.
- The bleeding woman’s promise of wholeness (Luke 8.43-48): This woman had spent the last 12 years trying to find a cure for her sickness. She had given up everything to find a cure for her constant bleeding, but nothing and no one could help her. Yet, she saw Jesus and knew that He had the power to restore her. The crowd of people were pressing against Jesus, but in the middle of the chaos, she touched her promise of wholeness by faith, and she was healed. She had developed great faith.
- Peter’s promise of catching fish (Luke 5.1-11): Peter had been fishing all night. He was a skilled fisherman who came from a family of fisherman. He employed all his knowledge and ability all night, but his nets came up empty. Jesus told him to cast his nets one more time. Peter made sure to tell Jesus that he had already done everything in his strength to catch fish, but in obedience he casted his nets one more time. This time Peter’s nets were so full of fish that they ripped, and Jesus said he would now be fisher of men. Peter was given a purpose.
The reactions of each person gives a a small glimpse of what God’s promises will do to us. God uses them to humble us, renew us, build us and anoint us. God doesn’t simply want to bless us; He wants to transform us into a blessing. These promises establish our purpose and teach us to rely on God. But they will tear you to pieces and rip out your heart first.
“Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!’ (Zechariah 8.13 NLT).