‘… he has given us his very great and precious promises’ 2 Peter 1.4
We can have a mixed reaction to God’s promises. On the one hand they really can be beacons of light in the darkness, opening up doorways of hope in what might be difficult circumstances or a rather bleak outlook. On the other hand they can appear so far removed from our current situations that they seem unrealistic, or we simply find them too hard to believe. We then feel disappointed when we are unable to hold on to them as we feel we should. This is one of the reasons why this verse is so encouraging as it says that the promises of God flow out of his loving heart for us.
All too often we can think of God like the constructor of a giant obstacle course. His promises can seem like one of the obstacles and if we don’t hold on to them then we are penalised and no good thing will come our way. However nothing could be further from the truth as far as Peter is concerned in this letter. He says that God’s promises flow from his wonderful, loving heart. Far from being an obstacle or a chain to tie us down, they are a gift for us to accept, unwrap and explore.
When you next read a promise of God in the Bible, or if one comes to mind right now, let your first reaction be to give thanks for it and to recognise that it is coming from the goodness of God to help you in your situation. He is not compelling you to hold on to it through gritted teeth, but rather to receive his gift to you which will help in your life.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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