I never made promises lightly
And there have been some that I’ve broken
But I swear in the days still left
We’ll walk in the fields of gold
–Sting, Fields of Gold
I’ve made promises that I’ve broken. I don’t break them intentionally, sometimes I just forget. After all, I’m only human. If you base your hope on my word, sooner or later, you’ll be disappointed. I might get a flat tire on the way. I might get sick. Or die. Or get distracted. Even Sting can’t guarantee what he’ll do in the days still left.
But God never breaks a single promise. He tells us why in Numbers 23:19–
God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
We Can Count on God’s Promises Because of God’s Character
First of all, he’s not a man. He’s not human. He doesn’t have a fallen nature. He’s never sinned, never lied. He is the essence of righteousness and can’t lie. He is the truth and only speaks the truth.
We Can Count On God’s Promises Because God is Unchanging
Unlike us, God never changes in his person or his purposes. We may change our minds as we age, or our situation changes or we get more information. But God doesn’t decide to do something then a thousand years later realize it was a bad decision.
We Can Count On God’s Promises Because of His Infinite Wisdom
Because of his infinite wisdom, when he makes a promise, it’s the best possible promise he can make. He won’t discover later he could have made a better promise. God never needs to make course corrections. He doesn’t make it up as he goes along. He knows the end from the beginning.
If he has said it, he will do it. If he has spoken it, he will fulfill it. He’s not messing around with your life.
For these reasons, we should trust God’s promises and heed his warnings
He’s going to do what he said. Sooner or later. Even if it hasn’t happened yet. Even if you can’t see how he could possibly fulfill it. Even if your eyes, ears, mind and feelings are screaming it can’t happen.
If God has made unshakable promises, we should devour his word
I want to know all God’s promised. I want to know what I can pray for. What I can count on. What to hang my hope on when everything around looks bleak.
If we drift from reading God’s word, our faith will wane, our prayer life will wane, our joy will wane and our hope will wane.
So let’s read God’s word, grab on to his promises, then say in the face of hopelessness, God is not a man. He won’t lie or change his mind. He said it, so he’ll do it. I believe it. Thank you, my unchanging Lord!
Mark Altrogge has been senior pastor of Saving Grace Church of Indiana, Pennsylvania, since 1982. He has written hundreds of songs for worship, including “I Stand in Awe” and “I’m Forever Grateful.” Mark and his wife, Kristi, have five children and five grandchildren.
Find out more on his blog, The Blazing Center.