My wife and I have promised our 4 grandchildren we will take them on a trip this summer. We look forward to spending quality time and having fun with them. You have made promises before to your family, friends, coworkers, and others.
God also makes promises. His are found in the pages of the Bible. What is a promise from God? It is a pledge from God that something will (or will not) be done, or given, or come to pass. These are not flippant, casual promises such as we often make. Promises from God are rock-solid, commitments made by God Himself. Because God is faithful He will do what He has promised.
In the first article of this 3-part series, I shared 3 promises that mean much to my faith in the God. Here are 3 more.
1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” states this promise. Did you ever watch the Superman television shows or movies? We aren’t Superman. And God doesn’t expect us to be. We don’t have incredible strength, all wisdom, and perfect understanding. But God does!
Rather than us shouldering, or carrying, our burdens and anxieties, God tells us to cast them (actually “roll them over”) on Him. Why? Because He cares for us. Actually He loves us like crazy.
How do you actually do this? Consider this example prayer. “Heavenly Father, you know the burdens I am carrying, the problems and worries on my mind. I need your help. I trust You for the strength, wisdom, and love to get through these struggles.”
Jesus promised, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
The burdens you carry can really get you down. Right? Jesus said, when your burdens get you down, come to Me. I will give you rest.
I remember years ago a television commercial for an instant tea. The ad showed a man mowing his grass on a hot day. In the next scene this tired, hot, and sweaty man was shown plunging, fully-clothed, into a cool swimming pool. The word rest Jesus used gives a similar picture of spectacular refreshment.
How do you find this rest when your burdens and troubles have wearied you? Jesus said, “Yoke yourself to Me.” Can you see the picture of 2 oxen yoked together? “Submit yourself to Me, partner with Me, and let me teach you,” said Jesus.
Are you afraid to do this? Jesus will not treat you harshly nor add more burdens on you. Rather you will find Jesus to be gentle and humble.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”
This promise pictures our troubles and anxieties like having to walk through deep waters or a blazing fire. In difficult times like this, what can we count on? That God will always be with us! He never leaves us to fight our battles alone.
God also promises that, if our trust is in Him, our troubles will not sweep us away or leave us singed. In other words, He will make a way.
Adoniram Judson, the great missionary to Burma, once said: “The future is as bright as the promises of God.” Are you struggling to believe in God’s promises? Have you been hurt by unanswered prayers or expectations? Your future really is as bright as the promises of God especially when you muster the courage to place your trust in them. Even more, hope will fill your heart and mind.