What Are the Promises of God?
Imagine stumbling over a treasure chest buried in the ground. You open it, and it’s full of gold coins — millions and millions of dollars’ worth.
The Bible is like that treasure chest. But instead of gold coins, it’s full of something infinitely better — the promises of God.
But sadly, many Christians don’t know God’s promises. It’s like God gives us a treasure chest full of gold coins, and we never open it to see what’s inside.
But God wants us to open this treasure chest and see all the riches we have in his promises. He wants us to see his promises, trust his promises, and be transformed by his promises.
But we can only do that if we know his promises. So – what are the promises of God?
Here are seven categories of promises I have discovered in God’s Word —
HEART-SATISFACTION – God Promises to Satisfy You Fully and Forever in Jesus Christ
We all long for heart-satisfaction. We all crave joy, pleasure, and beauty. And we can find some joy, pleasure, and beauty in things of the world. But none of these gives us full joy. Or lasting joy.
But God has good news. God promises that full and lasting joy is found in himself; in knowing him as he is revealed in Jesus Christ. That’s what David says in Psalm 16:11 (he’s speaking to God) –
“In your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
We can also see this promise in verses like Psalm 36:7-9; Psalm 63:1-2; Psalm 73:25-26; John 6:35; Philippians 3:8; 1 Peter 1:8.
But there’s a problem. Our sin has cut us off from God’s presence, and we face his wrath forever. Which is why the next promise is so precious –
FORGIVENESS – God Promises to Forgive You through Faith in Christ so You Can Experience His Heart-Satisfying Presence Forever
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
We have all sinned and faced God’s punishment. But on the Cross, Jesus was punished in our place. So when we turn from whatever else we’ve been trusting to satisfy us, and trust Jesus Christ to forgive us, change us, and satisfy us in himself — everything changes:
- God forgives all our sin — so we will never be punished by him (1John 1:9; Romans 8:1).
- God covers us with Jesus’ perfect righteousness, and welcomes us as if we were perfectly righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- God gives us his Spirit by whom we experience his heart-satisfying presence (John 7:37-38).
This complete forgiveness, and all of God’s promises, are ours by faith alone in Christ alone, as Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9.
But faith is not easy. Trials weaken our faith; temptations undermine our faith. So how can I be sure I will keep trusting Christ? That’s the next promise –
PERSEVERANCE – God Promises to Keep You Strong in Faith So You Can Experience His Heart-Satisfying Presence Forever
How can you be sure you will not turn from faith in Christ and end up facing God’s judgment?
It’s because God promises that if you are truly trusting him now. then he will never let you fall away. You won’t be sinless. But he will keep you persevering in faith until you enter heaven.
That’s what Paul says in Philippians 1:6 –
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
You can also see this promise in Jeremiah 32:40; Ezekiel 36:26-27; John 10:28-29; and Jude 1:24-25.
But even though God promises to protect our faith, we are not passive in this process. We must fight the fight of faith, labor in prayer and the Word, seek to obey Christ, and love others.
So what will motivate us to do this? That’s the next promise –
REWARD – God Promises to Reward Your Faith with Even More Heart-Satisfaction in Him Now and Forever
So the more I trust and obey Christ now, the more joy I will have in Christ now, and forever. Here’s how Jesus puts this promise in John 14:21 –
“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
You can also see this promise in Matthew 5:8; Matthew 25:23; John 14:23; Romans 8:13; Hebrews 12:14; and Revelation 21:6-7.
But please don’t misunderstand this idea of reward. It’s not that we deserve rewards from God. It’s that – because of Jesus’ death on the Cross — God mercifully rewards our undeserving faith and obedience with more of himself.
But this does not mean that the more I trust Christ, the easier my life will be. That’s the topic of the next promise —
CIRCUMSTANCES — God Promises to Give You the Perfect Combination of Blessings and Trials so You Will Have the Greatest Heart-Satisfaction in Him
Sometimes God brings us great blessings — family, friends, and health. His purpose in this is to show us even more of his glory, so we have even more heart-satisfaction in him. This is taught in verses like John 9:1-2; Job 42:10; and Acts 12:11.
But at other times, in perfect love and wisdom, God brings us great trials — persecution, sickness, tragedy. He does this so that as we cling even more closely to him, we will have even more joy in him than we would have had without the trial. This is illustrated in Job 1:21; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10; 1 Peter 1:6-7; and 1 Peter 4:14.
But what about all the things we need in this life? That’s the next promise —
NEEDS – through Prayer God Promises to Provide for Every Need in the Perfect Time and Amount to Give You the Greatest Joy in Him Now and Forever.
God does not promise to give everything we want. But he does promise that, as we pray, he will give us everything we need in order to be fully satisfied in Him.
You can see that in Matthew 7:7 —
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
And in Philippians 4:19 —
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
This includes his grace (2 Corinthians 9:8), the work of the Spirit (Galatians 3:5), finances (Matthew 6:33), strength (Philippians 4:13), relationships (Matthew 19:6; 1Corinthians 12:18), wisdom (James 1:5), and whatever else we need. He will provide these in just the right amount, at just the right time, to give us the greatest joy in him now and forever (Romans 8:35-39; Philippians 4:11-12).
HEAVEN — God Promises to Raise You from the Dead so that Forever You Can Join All the Redeemed in the Heart-Satisfying Joy of Beholding God’s Glory in Christ
Unless Christ returns first, we will all die. But because we trust Christ, the moment we die we go to be with Christ in paradise (Luke 23:43). And there we will join with all the redeemed as we wait for Christ’s final victory over sin and Satan, His return to planet earth, and the resurrection of our bodies.
Here’s how Jesus put it —
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
This is certain. Jesus rose from the dead. And because you are trusting him, he will raise you from the dead. You will live forever with the ever-increasing joy of beholding him.
God has promised.
What This Means for Us
Notice that the focus of every promise is the all-satisfying joy of beholding God’s glory in Christ now and forever.
When we see this, and when we trust all that God promises to be to us in Christ, we will be transformed.
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(Picture used with permission of istockphoto — copyright Amanda Rohde.)