Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Psalms 119:49 – 56 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. The arrogant mock me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law. I remember your ancient laws, O LORD, and I find comfort in them. Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law. Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge. In the night I remember your name, O LORD, and I will keep your law. This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.
In exactly one month, I will celebrate the 43rd anniversary of the day a woman named Denise accepted an engagement offer from me and promised to love me for the rest of our lives together. In a dark corner of an off-limits supper club in North Dakota (you’ll have to ask her about that story) with left over supper spilled all over my suit, I took her hand and asked her to be my wife. It wasn’t a fancy proposal, or super creative like so many are today, but it wasn’t intended to be about the circumstances or the surroundings – it was about the promise.
Promises are made to be kept. No matter how old the promise, the promise-maker must be able to be trusted to keep it. Otherwise it was never really a promise. Promises are the foundation of relationships. Promises give us hope. Promises provide strength. Promises give comfort.
We have a Promise-Giver who can be trusted to fulfill every word He has ever spoken. No promise ever spoken by God during the 6,000-year history of mankind has ever been broken. God has never spoken an idle or insignificant word. History has proven God’s promises to be true.
The Psalmist understood the promissory nature of God when he wrote today’s passage from Psalm 119. He found hope in God’s word. He found comfort in God’s promises. He was made strong enough to endure indignation and suffering by the application and practice of God’s promises. Wherever life took him he was able to sing with joy because of the promises of God.
It is interesting to note that the Psalmist found that God’s promises brought him comfort in his sufferings, not deliverance from them. Maybe today you are experiencing some form of suffering from which you long to be delivered. But God has not promised life without pain. He has promised strength to endure the pain. God has not promised life without hardship or hurt. He has promised unending love from above. God has not promised life free from suffering. He has promised faith that alleviates all fear. That reminds me of a great old Gospel song…
God hath not promised skies always blue,
Flower strewn pathways all our lives through;
God hath not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God hath promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way,
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.
No matter what the problem or pain in your life, this would be the time to go to your Bible and read the promises of God again. In fact, right now, the Holy Spirit is bringing some of them to your mind – the ones He knows need to be applied to your life for this circumstance.
For me it’s Isaiah 41:10 and 13 which say, So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
God will lead you to the promises you need right now if you will quiet your heart and listen to Him.