Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Promises kept

He comes alongside us when we go through hard times. 2 Corinthians 1:4 MSG

My mother was born with asthma, which developed into emphysema by age 10. At 22, she was given a year to live, but like King Hezekiah, pleaded with God to let her live to raise her children to Christian maturity. By God’s grace, she lived to age 55. She was an artist, musician, gardener, poet, genealogist, and even represented herself to an Internal Revenue commission and won her case.

But as the years passed, she pled with God to heal her or let her die, to ease her constant struggle for breath and strength. On her last night, I read Bible verses to her as I held her hand and watched the monitors record her declining heartbeat and respiration. Those hours were the most precious and intimate of my life, and I’m certain that the next voice she hears after mine will be Jesus’ voice, saying, “Wake up, little girl!”

God’s promises are for you, though we may not understand the specific or temporal application. Read 2 Corinthians 1:4-5 MSG: He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

These verses clinch my faith in God’s ultimate faithfulness and victory over present circumstances: Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22 MSG

Read that again! God’s promises are Yes, pledged with Jesus’ blood and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit. God has certified by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three witnesses, that His promises are sure and will be completed. Maybe not in my sight or lifetime (and there’s the rub), but I trust that He has accomplished His purpose already, and I await the resolution.

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