“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised … Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged.” Hebrews 6:13-15, 17, 18 NIV.
The durability of something is what determines whether we are willing to stand on it. The soundness of its structure ensures its durability and reliability. For example, the integrity or the soundness of the structure of a platform makes it durable. This enables us to rely and trust that the platform will not collapse when we stand on it. In similitude, we have to stand on something to sustain and hold us up through life.
One of the hymns of the church is “Standing on the Promises of God.” The second verse states, “standing on the promises that cannot fail.” The fourth verse reads, “standing on the promises I cannot fall.” These verses declare a simple truth: when standing on the promises of God, we cannot fall because the promises of God cannot fail.
A promise is the announcement of an intention, an announcement of something to be done. We all have made promises to people and have had promises made to us from others. Not because of any intentionality of failing to make good on these promises made, the truth is we all have fallen short or failed to perform every promise made.
So what makes the difference when it comes to promises made by God? Why is it that we can bank on and trust God to make good on his promise? Why is it that we can be sure of being able to stand on any promise God gives? I offer two reasons for an answer.
One reason we can stand on the promises is because of the nature of God. The promises of God cannot fail because of the nature of God. It is the nature of God that makes his promises trustworthy, something sure to stand on.
An attribute of God that he does not share with us humans is what’s called immutability. This attribute means that God is unchanging in his character, will and promises. Therefore, we can have absolute confidence in God’s reliability to make good on his promise because of his unchanging character. It is the integrity of God’s character that makes it impossible for him to lie (Hebrews 6:18). That’s why we can, without wavering or any hesitation, hold tightly to God’s word because he is faithful and reliable in keeping his promise (Hebrews 10:23; Numbers 23:19).
A second reason we can stand on the promises is because of the nature of God’s word. The nature of God’s word is based on the character of God. In other words, since God is faithful, his word is reliable.
There are five special, distinct qualities of God’s word that guarantee that it cannot fail, thereby we can rely on it. God’s word is perfect (Psalm 19:7). God’s word is pure, proving true (Proverbs 30:5). God’s word is permanent, being established and settled (Psalm 119:89). God’s word is perpetual, remaining forever (1 Peter 1:23-25; Matthew 24:35). God’s word is powerful (Hebrews 1:3; 11:3).
No matter how a situation looks in your life right now, you can stand on the sure promises of God.
“Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.” 1 Kings 8:56 NIV
Rev. Johnson A. Beaven III is pastor of Citadel of Faith Church of God in Christ. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @jbeaven.