Standing on the Promises of God
Mary, the mother of Jesus, visited her cousin Elizabeth who was also with child. When the child in Elizabeth’s womb hears Mary’s voice he leaps for joy. This child is John the Baptist. This moment of celebration brings joy to Mary and she prophesies:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.” (Luke 1:47-55)
What is remarkable about Mary and Elizabeth is that they believed in the promise of God, even though great miracles of God were required. Mary, a virgin, had conceived a child and Elizabeth, who was well beyond any child bearing age, had also conceived. Nevertheless, these chosen instruments of God were able to believe God as did Abraham before them.
Are we able to believe in the miraculous today? Mary and Elizabeth understood that the promises God made to them were not just about them. Jesus and John the Baptist are children of the promise that God made to Abraham. Their births extended and expanded this promise down through the ages. Today, we are recipients of the promise.
God has made promises to us as well. His plans for us may not be as dramatic as that of Mary or Elizabeth, but they are important to God’s plan. Are we willing to believe in those promises and hold on to them? There may be obstacles in the way of our receiving God’s promise. The Apostle Paul tells us how to overcome these obstacles with this prescription:
Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
In time, the promises of God will come to pass. The blessing is in our believing and perseverance. Too often me take matters in our own hands when we tire of waiting upon God. In this way we thwart God’s plans and purposes for us. Others are depending upon us to make the right choices. In fact, their future blessings depend upon our faithfulness. Let us be willing to see beyond ourselves as the wonders of God’s work unfolds.
God will do great things for us but he requires that we exercise our faith. Are we willing to hear, believe, and stand on the promises of God?