God keeps his promises.
If you have been raised in the church you have heard that phrase a hundred thousand times, but can I ask a challenging question? Do you believe it? If you have not been raised in the church, this phrase might be new to you. Can I ask you a challenging question? Do you want to believe it?
We see a lot of this in the Old Testament, God delivering the Israelites again and again, giving them manna when they need food to eat, parting the Red Sea, and the promise that God will not cause a flood to wipe out people again, through a rainbow. I want to focus on a portion of 1 Chronicles 22 which talks about Solomon’s ministry and preparation for it. This is God speaking to King David about his son, Solomon. The scripture says, “But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.” (1 Chronicles 22: 9-10) First, a common word I see when I read this scripture is “will”. God tells David he WILL have a son and he WILL give him peace and rest. You know the phrase, “when there is a will, there is a way”? I looked up the definition of will, and Merriam Webster defines it as a word “used to express the inevitability of something.” If you are willing to do something, you will find a way no matter what the circumstances. What happens when there is an unforeseen or unexpected circumstance? What if you cannot “will” your way into something? That is something really special about God. His grace is sufficient and made perfect in our weakness. We cannot will our way because we cannot do it on our own; we need His wisdom, love, and guidance. We actually need everything we have from God. He is our ultimate provider and protector for things we experience that we can or cannot predict. The word “will” shows us that it is inevitable that God is a promise keeper.
God is steady.
Secondly, the tone of voice God is using in this scripture is very steady and straightforward. This promise is spoken in 1 Chronicles 17:12-14 and referenced as foreshadowing to the birth of Jesus in the New Testament in Luke 1:32-33 “He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.” So not only is God’s promise repeated, and won’t He work through repetition, but it is also foreshadowing into something greater than we could possibly imagine. We just do not see that yet until we go through the Old Testament.
Just getting through it?
How many times do we feel like we have to go through something to get to the next thing? Once I get through a semester, I will feel less stressed. Once I get through this fight, a relationship will be fixed. Once I get through this hard situation, my relationship with God will be okay again. The act of getting through something negates what is happening right now. Negating what is happening right now discredits the fact that God wants to work in the everyday moments that we are just trying to get through. I am guilty of this, and it does not help that the world tells us that the next thing is the best, or better, thing. Whether that is the next season of life or even just the next day, “there is always something better out there.” I hear it time and time again.
An economic concept that describes what you are giving up to do something else is called "opportunity cost". Another way to phrase that is, “what is your best yes?” If we are going through life, getting through things, it's harder to recognize when God is working and answering his promises. God does not say “I will keep my promise to you exactly how you want and think it should play out.” He is a promise maker and promise keeper, period. It is a spiritual discipline to walk by faith, not by sight, and it is not always sunshine and roses to do so. It can be confusing and conflicting to be so confident in what God has for you, and for Simple Charity, without making expectations for how it should go. If we are working to stand in solidarity with the global poor but are thinking about how there has to be a better way or there has to be a way that can make a bigger impact, then we are losing energy that could foster the ground we are standing on.
Practical Life Application
It is so important to think about the best way to serve others. Humility and taking action steps on how to do that is important. It can become a weakness when we start looking around us at what other people or organizations are doing and giving up the power that our "best yes" has. When Nehemiah is building the wall, he is “doing a great work and cannot come down (Nehemiah 6:13)." What works are you doing to stand in solidarity with the global poor that you cannot come down from? What works are you doing in your personal faith-life that are going to propel you to be a doer of the Word? That comes with thinking about the best yes and sacrificing things that might be exactly what you want. However, because God keeps his promises His plan for you is great and stepping out in faith and trust to obey what He is calling you to do, is the best yes you can make.
“Will.” Merriam-Webster, Merriam-Webster, www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/will.
Kennon, Joshua. “What Is Opportunity Cost?” The Balance, www.thebalance.com/what-is-opportunity-cost-357200.
Chrysler, Arthur. Upon the Wall.
Armstrong, David. Rainbow.