The lifeblood of Christianity is faith in the promises of God. It is what starts us out on the journey of Christian life, and it is what sustains us when dark clouds of fear and despair overshadow our way. A person first becomes a Christian when he clings to the promise of eternal life offered through the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus. Although people complicate salvation by teaching that it is a process, or something that can only be obtained after completing certain steps, the Bible is clear that salvation is a gift received through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). “It is of faith, that it might be by grace” (Romans 4:16). But where do we place our faith? The Bible affords only one answer: In Jesus Christ. We rest our hope in the promise of eternal life offered to all who will come to faith in Jesus Christ (John 6:37). We see this “promise of eternal life” in Titus 1. In the opening verse, Paul speaks of the “faith of God’s elect,” and the “acknowledging of the truth” (Titus 1:1). He then goes on (in the very next verse) to lay the foundation upon which our faith is built: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2).
You could invest plenty of time examining this particular verse, but I would draw your attention to the phrase, “God, that cannot lie, promised.” Our confidence (which is the biblical definition of “hope” by the way) is based upon a promise God makes (eternal life) and is guaranteed by as aspect of God’s character (He cannot lie). Have you come to place your hope in Jesus Christ?
God’s promises, however, do not just relate to salvation. We can find countless other promises made throughout Scripture. One of the earliest promises is found in Genesis 9. Immediately after the flood, God makes a covenant (a promise) with Noah that He will never destroy the whole earth again with a flood. In spite of raging hurricanes and tsunamis, this promise has held true for thousands of years. This promise in Genesis 9 is then confirmed with a beautiful symbol: the rainbow.
This morning as I was walking out of the store with Jonas, we looked up and saw a stunning rainbow reaching across the sky. Although when I see a rainbow, I recognize that it relates to a very narrow promise (i.e. that God will never flood the entire world again), I believe we can make a broader application as well. A rainbow reminds us that God will keep, not just the promise He made to Noah, but every promise He has made throughout all time.
This was a reminder I needed this morning. We had a wonderful trip to the Philippines, but there yet remains so much in our immediate future that could cause me to despair. The uncertainties of finances, scheduling meetings, or a host of other questions could paralyze me with fear. The times I am anxious, uncertain, wavering, or any number of unhealthy responses to life are the times I am not clinging to the promises of God. The promises of God serve as an anchor to our soul. Without this anchor we are set adrift upon life’s tumultuous seas without direction or hope. For this reason, having faith in specific promises God has made is vital for my spiritual health. Learning to lean upon these promises is my lifeblood. May God give grace to rest in His promises, knowing that He is faithful and true.