What are the Promises of God?
Imagine stumbling over a treasure chest buried in the ground. You open it. It’s full of gold coins. Millions and millions of dollars’ worth.
That’s a perfect picture of the Bible. The Bible is like a treasure chest. But instead of gold coins, it’s full of something infinitely better — the promises of God.
But sadly, too many Christians don’t know God’s promises. It’s like God gives us a treasure chest full of gold coins – but we leave it closed. We don’t know what’s in it. We never use the coins.
But God wants us to open the treasure chest and see all the riches we have in His promises. He wants us to see the riches, trust the riches, and experience the riches of His promises.
But we can only do that if we know His promises. So – what are the promises of God?
Here are seven categories I find helpful –
HEART-SATISFACTION – God promises to satisfy me fully and forever in Jesus Christ.
We all long for heart-satisfaction. We all crave joy, pleasure, and beauty.
But nothing else gives us the pleasure we crave. Because the pleasure we crave can only be found in God – knowing God 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 me through faith in Christ so I can experience His heart-satisfying presence forever.
We have sinned and faced God’s punishment. But on the Cross Jesus was punished in our place. So when we trust Christ as Savior, Lord, and all-satisfying Treasure – everything changes:
- God forgives all our sin — so we will not be punished by Him (1Jo 1:9; Rom 8:1).
- God covers all our remaining sin with Jesus’ perfect righteousness, and responds to us as if we were perfectly righteous (2 Cor 5:21).
- God gives us His Spirit by whom we experience His heart-satisfying presence (John 7:37-38).
All of this happens by faith alone in Christ alone (Eph 2:8-9).
But faith is not easy. We will be tempted to turn back to trusting other things to satisfy us. We will need to fight temptations with earnest prayer and meditation on God’s Word. So how can I be sure I will keep trusting Christ? That’s the next promise –
PERSEVERANCE – God promises to keep me strong in faith so I can experience His heart-satisfying presence forever.
How can I be sure I will not fall away from the faith and end up facing God’s judgment?
It’s because God has promised 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 Jer 32:40; Eze 36:26-27; John 10:28-29; Jude 1:24-25.
God promises to keep us pressing on in faith. But we are not passive in the process. We must fight the fight of faith, labor in prayer and the Word, obey Christ, and love others.
So what will motivate us to do this? That’s the next promise –
REWARD – God promises to reward my life of faith with even more heart-satisfaction in Him now and forever.
God promises that, as we trust and obey Him, He will reward us with even more heart-satisfaction in Him – in this life and in the life to come.
But don’t misunderstand that word “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.
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 Mat 5:8; Mat 25:23; John 14:23; Rom 8:13; Heb 12:14; Rev 21:6-7.
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 me the perfect combination of blessings and trials so I will have the greatest heart-satisfaction in Him.
Sometimes God blesses us — with family, friends, and deliverance from trials. His purpose in these blessings 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 sometimes, in great love and wisdom, God brings us great trials and allows them to stay. He does this so that as we cling all the more closely to Him, this closeness will give us even more joy in Him than we would have had without the trials. This is illustrated in Job 1:21; 2Cor 4:16-18; 2Cor 12:9-10; 1Pe 1:6-7; 1Pet 4:14.
But what about all the needs that are ours when facing trials? That’s the next promise –
NEEDS – God promises to provide everything else I need in such a way that I will most fully enjoy Him now and forever.
God does not promise to give everything we want. But He does promise to give everything we need, in order to be fully satisfied in Him.
This includes finances (Matt 6:33), strength (Phil 4:13), family and friends (Matt 19:6; 1Cor 12:18), and wisdom (James 1:5). He will provide these in the right amount, and at the right time, to give us the greatest joy in Him now and forever (Rom 8:35-39; Phil 4:11-12).
HEAVEN — God promises to raise me from the dead so that forever I 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
It’s certain. You will live forever in the ever-increasing joy of beholding Him. God promises
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.
I’d love to hear them – leave a reply below. Thanks!
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(Picture used with permission of istockphoto — copyright Amanda Rohde.)