Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Today’s Topic: A Pocketful of Promises
Today’s Text: Psalm 119:116 (ESV) Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!
I have a pocketful of promises. At least I believe they are promises, and because of that I use them. I put coins in a vending machine because of the promise of a thirst-quencher or belly-enhancer. I put green-colored paper into the hands of a cash-register operator in exchange for the product I have determined is essential to my life. I slide a plastic card through an electronic device when I don’t have any green-colored paper and I expect the same result. I pull out a cylindrical device with a clicky top to make a promise to pay later with the promise of a signature. I hand a colored punch card to the clerk who makes a promise with a hole to give me something free later. My pockets are full of promises.
In one pocket of my coat I carry a dozen promises, all attached to a steel ring. One promise opens my office door. One promise opens my house. Other promises open a variety of cabinets and files and doors. When I pull them out of my pocket and insert the appropriate promise into the matching slot, things that had been previously inaccessible are suddenly fully available.
I’m having trouble with one promise in my pocket. It is a small black plastic promise with three buttons on it. Each button is supposed to perform a function on my vehicle. Every morning when I get to the office I exit my car, shut the door, and push the button that promises to lock the doors. Nothing happens. I push the promise again, and nothing happens. I slowly move to a different location on the outside of the vehicle and push the promise again, and maybe, it will work. Some days I just go inside and leave the car unlocked because the promise was never fulfilled. Then there are days like this morning that the promise was fulfilled at the first request.
It can be really embarrassing standing in the parking lot pointing a promise at the car while moving around pushing the button repeatedly. Unfulfilled promises are shameful. They destroy hope. My pocket is full of promises that are consistently fulfilled, but the one promise that isn’t seems to dominate my thoughts and affects the quality of my life (or at least I choose to believe it does).
None of the above is true of God’s promises. Never once has one of His promises failed – at least not from His perspective. From my vantage point things don’t happen like they should. I want to be fulfilled according to my desires. I want to be upheld according to my application of the promise. Therein lies the problem. Putting God’s promises into our context and timeframe is like putting the wrong key into the lock and never gaining access to the previously unavailable. The Psalmist reminds us of this truth with the words, Uphold me according to your promise.
God’s promises are like the coins and currency we carry. Read these encouraging words from Charles Spurgeon:
Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see His promises put in circulation; He loves to see His children bring them up to Him, and say, “Lord, do as Thou hast said.” We glorify God when we plead His promises. Do you think that God will be any the poorer for giving you the riches He has promised? Do you dream that He will be any the less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine He will be any the less pure for washing you from your sins? Our heavenly Banker delights to cash His own notes. Never let the promise rust. Think not that God will be troubled by reminding Him of His promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is His delight to bestow favors. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. The sun is not weary of shining, nor the fountain of flowing. It is God’s nature to keep His promises; therefore go at once to the throne.
Follower of Christ, your pocket is full of promises, and they all fit perfectly into the doorway of the heart of God. All that has been previously inaccessible is now fully available, and never, no never will the promise be unfulfilled. Point the promise directly at God, and push the button. It will open God’s heart every time.