God's Promises

Why is it that even though the Bible is filled with promises, we often don't reap the benefit of God's promises? What we often fail to realize is that many of God's promises are conditional. Quite often, you will hear a person quote a part of a verse such as "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus..." (Romans 8:1), and they want to claim that promise of that verse, but they have left out part of the condition. Romans 8:1 goes on to say, "...who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

We find that there are usually several elements that must be present in order to receive the results of God's promises. First, there must be faith. The Bible states that without faith it is impossible to please God" (Hebrews 11:6) and that "…the just shall live by faith" (Romans 1:17).

The second element that is often required is action. True faith has action. The epistle of James says, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:17). We have the example of Abraham who left his country and kindred and went to a place God showed him in order to obtain the promise.

The third element is obedience. Often, the Lord wants us to do things His way. The Bible says, "Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams" (I Samuel 15:22). Again, we see that Abraham had to obey to obtain the promise. He had to go to offer up Isaac, and he had to leave his land. The Bible says, "By faith Abraham...obeyed; and he went out not knowing whither he went" (Hebrews 11:8).

The fourth step in receiving the Lord's promises is patience. Abraham had to wait 25 years to see the child of promise. The epistle of Hebrews states, "That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12). Often, a promise that the Lord makes is also for a particular season. Once we have done all that the Lord has asked, we need to wait on the Lord to fulfill the promise.

The Lord's promises are sure, but we need to make sure that we fulfill the conditions of the promises and that the four elements - faith, action, obedience, and patience - are present before we can receive the promise.