Spiritual Formation

Ann Spangler
Ann Spangler

A close-up of a large rope wound around a cleat on a boat.

A national for-profit college recently announced it would be closing its campus in a suburb near me. The announcement came as a complete surprise to those who wondered whether they would be able to complete their degree program without moving to another campus. The implicit promise between college and student, that all who successfully completed their programs would be awarded degrees, was abruptly threatened.

Anyone who has ever gotten married, signed a mortgage, purchased insurance, or bought something with a warranty, realizes that a promise is only as reliable as the people or companies that make it.

Fortunately, the most important promises in our lives are ones that God has made to us. He promises to forgive our sins, to never fail or forsake us, to lift us up when we are bowed down, to lead us in the way of truth and life. But many of God’s promises are conditional. Their fulfillment depends not on God’s desire to keep his promises, but on our responses to them.

God will return to us if we return to him. We will find new strength as we trust in him. We will live in peace if we listen to God. God’s desires for us, communicated through his promises, will never change. But our response to him is what will make all the difference.

 

Promises in Scripture

God is not a man, so he does not lie.
He is not human, so he does not change his mind.
Has he ever spoken and failed to act?
Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Numbers 23:19

 

“But all who listen to me will live in peace,
untroubled by fear of harm." Proverbs 1:33

 

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world's corruption caused by human desires.

In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God's promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 2 Peter 1:3-7

 

Drawn from Ann Spangler, Praying the Attributes of God

 

 
Originally published April 17, 2018.

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