My 2019 Promise List
The promises of God give us all the hope and strength that we need to face the future.
As 2019 dawned, I began to think about what God may have in store for the year. I have never been one to make resolutions; the only resolution I will make (and you should, too), is to trust in God and to have faith in His promises. I figured you may wonder which promises these are, so I listed a few of them below.
Before you read through the promises, though, I should mention that in my previous blog post, I referred to my (our) encounter with autism.
Now – autism is not an illness that is treatable with medicine – it is an intellectual disability. With the correct therapy, therefore, a child can learn to cope in the ‘normal’ world and do what other kids of his or her age are able to do. Autism is a lifelong journey, both for the parents and the children. The year ahead, therefore, will most certainly have its challenges, but there will also be victories. The promises of God are therefore an anchor for me and anyone else starting a long, unpredictable journey.
Enough of my ramblings….
The Lord promises that I will experience his unfailing love
What does unfailing love mean? To me, unfailing love refers to a love that will never let me down, a love that lasts forever, and a love that remains the same all the time. This kind of love is hard to come by, especially in our self-centered generation. The love of God, however, surpasses any other love we can experience because it is a reflection of who He is. He is faithful, and therefore, his love is unfailing!
Unfailing love, depending on the version you are reading, is also referred to as faithful love. Isn’t it great, therefore, to be promised an experience of faithful love from a faithful God, all year long?
This year, Lord, help me to remember that your unfailing love is there for me at all times – I just need to ask.
Psalm 100:5 “For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.” (NLT)
The Lord promises to remain close to me if I trust in him
When things are going well, it is easy to ‘feel’ that the Lord is close by. When things are tough, however, we often feel like God has abandoned us and that he is far away. Why does this happen?
When I am going through a rough patch, (yes, I still do, even after all these years as a Christian), sometimes I forget to trust in God. Think about a day-to-day crisis like a flat tire in the middle of a busy highway. Who will you look for first, the nearest petrol station or mechanic, or the Lord? What about those days when the matatus are not operating and you need to get work urgently? Do you pray first, or do you keep your eyes focused on the road hoping to see an empty matatu in the distance?
Back to my autism story. After the diagnosis, the first thing that came to mind was, ‘We have to fix this, and we need to start immediately.’ So I looked around, asking around about therapies, therapists, interventions, etc. It was only when I had tried everything, and nothing seemed to work out that I remembered to call on the Lord. Guess what – the Lord rebuked me, reminding me that I had forgotten to involve him in the whole process – I had forgotten to trust him. The result? I felt abandoned and alone.
What if I had chosen to trust in Him from the very beginning? I would have been safely sheltered under his wings as HE worked things out! I would have enjoyed the comfort of his presence as he took care of the hard stuff.
This year, Lord, I pray that you help me to remember to trust in you at all times so that I can get to enjoy and experience your presence.
Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.” (NLT)
The Lord promises to provide everything I need
Psalm 34:10 “Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.” (NLT)
This verse has always baffled me. How on earth do strong young lions who know how to hunt go hungry? Is it that there are no animals for them to catch and eat? If so, how come they are still strong and youthful? Do the lions trust in the Lord to give them food? Probably not, because they are young and strong enough to hunt for their own food! Remember, though that the lions do not have a relationship with God, so he chooses whether or not to provide them with nice, juicy antelopes to feed on!
Why should we, then, trust in the Lord to give us what we need? Because we have a relationship with him, a relationship based on love! Because God loves us, he has promised to give us whatever we need, if we trust in him. The lions rely on their strength to meet their needs, but we rely on the Lord!
Disclaimer – God does not give us everything we want; instead, he gives us what we need. Either way, we must continue to trust in him even when his answer is ‘no’, or ‘wait’.
This year, Lord, help me to remember that if I trust in you, you will provide all that I need.
The Lord promises me his peace
Our world is not a peaceful world. You just need to take a look at the newspaper headlines and watch prime time news to know how little peace there is to go around. How on earth do we remain peaceful even when there is turmoil all around?
Simple – God’s peace.
John 14:27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (NLT)
Over the years, I have noticed that people who are in a relationship with Lord have this aura of peace around them – almost like they are not moved by anything, even if you give them bad news. The peace of God is just amazing. It’s like he removes the shivers and shakes from deep within our hearts and replaces them with a calming balm that puts our hearts at rest.
To experience the peace of God, I must get rid of every ounce of fear in my heart. Once I begin to feel fearful, my focus shifts from the Lord to my circumstances, leaving him with little or no room to act. Giving God my fears and choosing to focus on him is always a conscious decision, but a good one, as it results in perfect peace.
Lord, this year I want to experience the peace that you promised to all your children – a peace that the world can never give me.
Joshua, the man who took over from Moses, was given the daunting task of taking the Israelites into the Promised land and leading them as they conquered the land. Before he started the task, the Lord promised that he would walk with him and strengthen him. At the end of his life, after experiencing great victories all through, Joshua encouraged the Israelites, reminding them that the Lord had fulfilled every one of his promises!
Joshua 23:14 “Soon I will die, going the way of everything on earth. Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed!” (NLT)
God is faithful. Every one of his promises is true. Let’s trust in the Lord and stay focused on him the way Joshua did, and we will get to experience the joy of seeing his promises fulfilled before our eyes!
Dear friends, God always keeps his promises, because he is faithful. What’s your favorite promise? Please share it in the comments section below, and don’t forget to share this article with someone who may need some encouragement as the year begins. May God be with you all through 2019 as you trust in him. Blessings!