When you were a young child, did your parents say that if you were well behaved on holiday while they went to see something that you particularly didn’t want to see, you would get a reward: an ice-cream, chocolate, sweets, spending money or something else?
Or perhaps your parents promised pocket money or permission to go round to a friend’s house or party if you did your chores. I remember my parents wanted to see many churches in Venice while we were staying there six years ago. While visiting these churches, which were very similar to one another and I found pointless seeing more than one, my sister and I began to complain. My parents promised us an ice cream afterwards if we went through with hanging around there for about half an hour. This promise truly kept me going when I wished I was somewhere else.
Promises of a reward awaiting us if we complete tasks or go through with things, help sustain us, give hope and definitely something to look forward to afterwards.
So it should be with God’s promises, which are obviously a lot more meaningful and wonderful than ice-creams (although some people may argue otherwise). I find it really uplifting when I’m doubting my identity, purpose or use in this world, when I’m reminded in the Bible about what God’s promised us - and God’s promised so much for us it’s incredible. Often I find I take it all for granted or forget them when I’m feeling low and useless. Jesus promised things for all of us who follow Him, and here are some of them now.
‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’ Matthew 28:20
‘But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’ John 14:16
‘I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.’ John 14:18
‘Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.’ Psalm 37:4-6
‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ 1 John 1:9
‘For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’ Jeremiah 29 v 11-13
‘In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.’ John 14:2-3
‘Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
He said to me: "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.’ Revelation 21:1-7
I hope from reading these verses you will be reminded about the great things God has in store for us and will feel encouraged.
Let’s not keep these verses to ourselves… let’s share them with other believers, with people who we think may or may nor need it, for we will be encouraging each other and building each other up in that way.
Hope you have a great summer and God bless!