Trust in Him

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Life of Promises

"How good God is to Israel,
to those who are pure of heart.
Yet my feet came close to stumbling,
my steps had almost slipped,
for I was filled with envy of the proud,
when I saw how the wicked prosper."
(Psalm 73)

All our lives we make and receive promises. Perhaps our father will promise us a sum of money, our mother will promise us a fine dinner, our brother will promise to help us carry something, our boss will promise us a vacation or raise... sometimes the promises are negative... perhaps our father promises to take away our keys if we come home late at night, or our mother promises to ground us from computer time if we should fail to do a chore, maybe our friend at school promises to beat us up if we don't do his homework, or our boss promises to take away our vacation time if we spend more than two weeks at home sick. These promises are like prophesies, they foretell something that will happen in the future as a result of some behavior. Although these promises are made to us every day, even the wisest of us often do not take them seriously... because promises can be broken, and to put all your hopes in an uncertain promise would be a fault both of the present and the future.

During our pilgrimage here on earth, we rely heavily on God's promises. He promised that He does exist, He promised His love, He promised His guidance, He promised wisdom, wealth, and happiness for the pure of heart and death, destitution, and destruction for those who are evil. Unlike the promises of man, God never fails to keep His promises. For those who have heard and accepted God's promises, each choice of every day is based on faith in His promise. We choose to follow the commandments because we are thus promised peace of mind. We choose to do good works because we are promised a large reward. We choose to love and honor God because we are promised eternal happiness with Him if we do so.

Sometimes, however, we look on the promises of God as we look on those of man. We lose sight of His gifts, betrayed by our own bodies who seek present satisfaction. The pains and sufferings of this life cause us to seek relief, not in spirit but in body.
For when evil shall be sweet in his mouth, he will hide it under his tongue. (Job 20:12) The wickedness of man is hidden under the shades of pleasure and relief, but none have sought these things freely and died maintaining this same pleasure and relief. Rather, God's promises have always shown themselves, either before or after our lives on earth. Evil brings only pain and desolation, and only good brings joy and relief from pain.

Moment after moment, day after day, the choices we make are based either on prudence and faith in God or imprudence and impatience in His promises. Let us therefore read with joy His promises, trusting that they will be fulfilled if we have faith; for God's promises are more certain than the rising of the sun each morning.

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