Have you ever mad a promise that you didn't keep? Don't you feel like a jerk? Even if you tried your very best to keep it. When we attach the word promise it becomes far more than good intentions. All the sudden it carries with it the weight of who we are. Our name is at stake. People's reputations have been tarnished by not keeping promises, intentional or unintentional. That is why we shy away from using the word "promise". When you "promise" something, you understand that it could turn into a long term commitment. It attaches you to the person until the promise is fulfilled, even if we don't want to be attached. It is like intentions on steroids. I promised my daughter a car for Christmas two years ago. Still no car and it has haunted me all this time. I will not rest until she gets her car. I will make good on my promise.
A spoken promise, if witnessed by others, can be legally binding in some cases. We sign promissory notes which gives us an obligation to pay. Young men give their main squeeze "promise" rings, committing to more than just girlfriend status. It is indication that someone is loved. Promises are made, when the fulfillment can not be experienced in the present, but you can count on it as if it already was done. I seldom use the word unless it is with someone I love.
My daughter is okay with the fact the car is not in the driveway yet. She knows the day will come when I will toss her the keys of her very own car. She knows that the reality of the car is affected by the reality of some extreme financial struggles, however, she lives as though the car is a future reality. Those two words are almost an oxymoron. Actually, we all live today based on what we believe tomorrow will bring. That can be rather shaky when it depends on people.
Not so with God. A promise today is tomorrows reality when the promise is from God. One thing we all can see just by reading the Bible is that God does not shy away from making promises. One of the most popular gifts for graduates is a book of God's Promises. It comes in hundreds of different versions. Leather bound, some for girls and some for boys. Large versions for coffee tables, small versions for backpacks. One reason they are so popular is because these young grads will face tough challenges in the near and far future and they will need an anchor. There is nothing more secure to hold on to than God's promises. He even gave us the rainbow to remind us of His faithfulness to His promises. God does not hesitate to make promises because there are no limitations on His fulfilling them. His promises keep Him engaged in our everyday lives. He wants to be attached to us so making a promise keeps Him running on the original tracks He had in mind. He is in it for the long haul so any.promise He makes will in time be fulfilled. He makes them simply because He loves us and wants us to be secure in that love. As a matter of fact, because of His love, He is unable not to keep His promise. That is a double negative for emphasis. Drives English teachers crazy, but gets the point across. He will not fail us. So, no matter how tough the journey becomes you can count on His promises. So strap in, hold on and JOIN THE JOURNEY!