God Himself is timeless – as well as His promises.
So they apply in every age group and at any time.
But especially when we need them urgently.
Much could be said and written about God’s promises. How many sermons have already been preached concerning this theme? We also think of hymns such as “What God has promised will last even if heaven and earth pass away.” Another composer goes one step further and writes: “For I’ve trusted and tested and tried it, and I know God’s promise is true.”
The Bible is the book of promises. Someone found 5467 promises within it. The number of promises is not as important as the fact that these promises, according to 2 Corinthians 1:19-20, are “Yes and Amen” in Jesus Christ. That means that God stands on all His promises.
When we look at these many promises, we realize that not all of them apply to each of us personally. God made promises to specific individuals. For example, Abraham, when He promised him a son, or to King Hezekiah, to whom He added 15 years to his life when he was deathly ill. The promises were specifically meant for one person at a specific time. Other promises were meant for Israel in a specific situation, for example, the conquering of Canaan under Joshua’s guidance.
God always kept His word, even if Abraham had to wait a long time for the fulfillment of this promise. God was not dependent on Abraham and Sarah’s help. What He has promised, He is able to do and fulfill. It is so revealing when we read at the end of Abraham’s life: “Now Abraham was old, well advanced in age; and the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things” (Genesis 24:1), just as He had promised him “I will bless you” (Genesis 12:2).
In addition to the specific promises, there are also those that apply to all humans. Take the promise of God that Peter mentions in his Pentecost sermon: “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). This promise is meant for all.
We are on the seniors’ page and are therefore justified in asking this question: “Are there promises for those who are now on the other side of 50? Are those of us who have already lived out the largest part of our lives still able to depend on promises, that are like a walking cane, during our remaining time?” Of course! God, who said: “Let the children come to me,” has not forgotten us seniors. God knows that, together with the aging, often such concerns such as uncertainty, fears, and questions about the future become more common. Through promises, God wants to assure us and wants to strengthen our trust in Him, to encourage us, and to help us end our journey with joy.
The fact is that each promise’s worth depends on its giver, namely the Almighty God, “who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:2). Let’s look at a few of God’s promises:
• “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you (Isaiah 46:4).”
If we look into the mirror, it becomes clear who is meant. He is not speaking to children but to us. That means that I am able to claim this promise. That is a tremendous statement! God said “I will.” What God wills, He can also do. What does He want? “I will carry you into your old age.” Because we may sometimes have doubts, He states one more time: “I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Have you noticed that in one verse, God emphasizes three times “I will?” I do not know if you interpret this verse as I do, but to me it means that there is nothing I need to fear. My God bears and carries me.
• “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6)
These verses indirectly address problems of existence. Perhaps the question arises when someone looks at their savings book and asks: will this be enough? With a modest pension, one is unable to take big chances. The writer demands that his readers (and us) not worry but with a joyful heart make do with whatever we have. We can do that because God has promised not to desert us. This could also be stated as: “I will not leave you in the lurch.”
• “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).
Shortly before His ascension, Jesus spoke these words. They are not just encouraging words but also contain a promise. The question about our future destination may become a fear and a worry question here on earth. How long will one be able to live in one’s own house? If one cannot manage on one’s own, what then? “Assisted living” are two words that we do not want to utter. Where we will live out our last days is not guaranteed. However, the promise of Jesus goes past this time and lights up our future. Our definite place of residence is in a better world and specifically is where Jesus resides. When things become complicated and one is dependent on the help of others because one is unable to help oneself, I am able to console myself by the thought that soon I will take up residence and be with Jesus.
• “Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away’” (Revelation 21:2-4).
It is all about heaven. “Where do go after I die?” is what people often ask. The answer naturally depends on our standing with Jesus. As followers of Jesus, we can expect an unimaginable eternity. When we as suffering and frail humans close our eyes, we will be with Jesus in a place where “tears, death, sorrow, noise, and pain” are foreign to us. The sorrows of this time have boundaries, i.e., they do have an end sooner or later, and then this applies: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
This is only a small number of God’s many promises. One brother read his Bible with pencil in hand so that every time he encountered a promise, he would write “For me” in the margin. This gave him strength, encouraged him to carry on, and he was totally “convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform” (Romans 4:21).
Chiming in with the composer’s song, I would like to encourage you to “trust in the promises, brother!”