“Then Jesus came to them and said,
‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
“For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV)
Promises may be the most precious or the most painful words that can be uttered. When someone lives on their own and after church someone says to them, “We need to get together sometime.” the lonely person will agree but deep down inside they know the meeting will likely never happen. So, the person feels hurt because what they desperately need is fellowship and it is not a sincere promise given to them. So, promises can be painful even when unintentional.
When we make a sincere promise but lack the resources, or something intervenes to prevent us from fulfilling a promise it does hurt. Promises are also painful when deliberately broken like a marriage vow. However, when the right person makes a promise it comforts us greatly. So, we see the power of a promise especially when made by our sovereign Lord.
What does the promise Jesus made saying, “I am with you always” mean to you? Do you not know He is all wise, all sovereign, all loving? How can any promise Jesus makes fall short of complete, perfect fulfilment? He is wise and so takes everything into consideration before making the promise. His supreme power means He has total resources to fulfil His promises, and He is loving so His promises are for our ultimate good.
A wonderful spiritual exercise is to ponder a promise such as we have in Matthew 28 and enjoy the peace and comfort it gives us. You may have had someone give you a wonderful promise but when it comes time for them to fulfil the promise they fall short in total or in part, willingly or unwillingly. Today come to the One Who will “never leave or forsake you”. Come and come now.
A debtor to mercy alone,
Of covenant mercy I sing;
Nor fear, with Thy righteousness on,
My person and offering to bring.
The terrors of law and of God
With me can have nothing to do;
My Savior’s obedience and blood
Hide all my transgressions from view.
The work which His goodness began,
The arm of His strength will complete;
His promise is Yea and Amen,
And never was forfeited yet.
Things future, nor things that are now,
Nor all things below or above,
Can make Him His purpose forgo,
Or sever my soul from His love.
My name from the palms of His hands
Eternity will not erase;
Impressed on His heart it remains,
In marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure,
As sure as the earnest is giv’n;
More happy, but not more secure,
The glorified spirits in Heav’n.