I should have known better. I did everything I could to make sure it didn't happen, but it did anyway. I trusted someone, and when that someone didn't do as promised, I was disappointed. I felt betrayed. How dare they not do what they said they would do?
Promises are important, and unfortunately, few of us really keep every promise we make. We mean to. We really do. But life happens. We get busy. We forget. And because we neglect to fulfill our promises, we know that others will do the same.
"I'll call every day I'm away, Mom. I promise." "I will repay this loan, Dad, every penny. I promise." "I promise to stay married to you till we are parted by death." "I promise I will exercise at least 30 minutes every day." "I will pray for you. I promise."
Even as we hear these promises, we know they will not be kept. We make promises. We break promises. We stop believing in promises. We suspect the motives of anyone who makes a promise, for we know that no one keeps promises. People expect us to believe their promises but excuse their lack of keeping that promise. We lose trust — in strangers, acquaintances, friends, family, and unfortunately, we even lose trust in God.
But, God is really the only one we can trust. He has NEVER made a promise He hasn't kept. Wow. Is there anyone reading this who can make that claim?
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them [your enemies], for the Lord your God goes with you: He will never leave you or forsake you," Deuteronomy 31:6. "For the Lord will not reject His people: He will never forsake His inheritance," Psalm 94:14. "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you'," Hebrews 13:5.
God has promised to love us, keep us, save us, protect us, sustain us. He has promised He sees every tear that falls. He has promised us He knows our every thought. He has promised us eternity with Him. He has promised us he will provide for our every need (and even some of our "wants," too).
God promises that He will go before us, be behind us, be a hedge all around us. He has promised us life abundant, freedom from the punishment of our sins, a richness beyond description. Is there ANYTHING God has promised us that He has not given us? Is there ANYTHING God has promised us that we deserve?
No. Instead, our God is a God of promises. It's His business to set about doing what He said He would do.
What kind of promises does a God like ours deserve? What does He want us to promise Him? Micah 6:8 answers for us: "What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
I promise to start doing this. Do you?
Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at Vrdspeaks@yahoo.com