“Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promises.”
The Psalmist at this point in the Psalm is describing the Israelites in the wilderness. The Lord was wanting to bring them into the Promised Land, but they didn’t believe that He could fulfill that promise. They had no faith. If we go by the definition of faith laid out for us by the writer of Hebrews it is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1) It is believing the promise and promises. It is walking forward, because God has said to go, when everything else, everyone else is telling us to go back. It is sharing, because God has said to share, when the call we hear from others is to gather. It is sitting still, because God has told us to sit still, when even our own selves thinks we should do something.
Promises are at the heart of faith. Promises are what we hope in, hope for. And if we are really hoping for the promise, it means we have confidence in the promiser. The promiser, the one who we believe is faithful. The one who we believes is always good to His word. This is why Moses tells the people to “know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
So I want to ask you want promises are you hoping in? What promises direct your steps? If we believe the Promiser, our Lord, is faithful, then where is our faith playing out. Where does your life look different because you are a person who holds on to promises? It is even deeper than that, but lives as if the promises will be fulfilled.
What would our lives be like if we really acted like the promises of God were true? How would I be acting differently? Where would I be going? Who would I be talking to? What would I be sharing? When would I be stopping?
There is a great line is Romans 4:18 that says “against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him (the promise), "So shall your offspring be." “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed.” From the world’s perspective, there should not have been hope, but because the one who promises is faithful, because the one who promises is powerful, because the one who promises is loving, because the one who promises is forgiving, because the one who promises is Lord, there is certainty in hope.
So I ask, as the hymn says, are you “standing on the promises of Christ my King”? Do you know the promises? Do we live like we have hope, even if it seems to be against all hope, in the Promiser?
Because of Him,
Rev. Lynn Beach is married to his college sweetheart, Michelle, and they have two adorable daughters. He has been at Park Church since July 2013.