Promises are funny things because if you are living according to the world- promises are just things that people commit to that may or may not be broken. We have all experienced promises that have been broken…. even if there was a pinky promise shake, a cross my heart hope to die, or a promise made over your great grandmother’s grave.
Even the most trusted people in our lives break promises at times- not necessarily on purpose or to be hurtful, but rather because circumstances changed and it just couldn’t be helped.
I broke a promise last week on North 1st Street and I felt really awful about it. It haunted me throughout the first half of my week. See we had been helping this one couple whose house burned down in the winter. They did not have family in Washington and were homeless. We had helped them earlier with tents, sleeping bags, food, and friendship. Two Sundays ago, they approached Keith to tell him that their clothes and belongings had been stolen. They tried to hide their tent and other belongings only to have them washed away by the high river water. They only had the clothes on their backs and then whatever they could get from our clothes give away that day.
Keith listened but was really busy with the organized chaos that occurs every Sunday in the empty lot. The husband came and spoke with me and I felt so sad for them because they had been trying so hard to make the best of their situation. They had been looking for jobs, had signed up for housing with the state, and were truly thankful as well as products of their circumstance. I wrote a list of what they needed and promised to meet them that night at 7:00 along the Greenway where we agreed.
The remainder of the day went on until we eventually pulled up in front of our house. Keith looked exhausted and gave me the look like “Please do not say we have to go somewhere else.” I was caught between my own promise to them and my desire to not add anymore to Keith’s load than I already had over the past 2 months with my shoulder surgery. That night I watched the clock as it crept towards 7:00 and then soon after past….. My heart sank as I realized that I was not going to fulfill my promise. I felt like a fake, a coward, and like I wrecked any trust that we had built up with this couple. I know they waited along the Greenway for me with hope- only to have it fade away with the daylight.
The thought of them haunted me through the night…. On my way to work (because I pass the spot I was going to meet them every day on the way to and from work)….I just kept picturing them sleeping under a tarp with no blankets because that is the condition that they were living in at that point. On the way home from work on the 2nd day I actually saw them sitting at the spot that I was going to meet them. I didn’t know how to drive back where they were from the freeway… so I continued on home :0( I talked to the Lord about it and shared how sorry I was to promise something that was so serious when I couldn’t actually make it happen.
Finally on Wednesday Keith received a phone call from them with fantastic news. I was praying so hard that they had a job or housing, but what they said totally surprised me. They had visited the doctor that day and found out that the wife was pregnant! At first when Keith told me… I didn’t connect the dots…. Because she was pregnant, they qualified for 28 day emergency housing and then they would receive permanent housing for the following 2 years!!!! I was so so excited!!! J They would not have to sleep out in the wild any more!!! They could actually sleep in a real bed with a roof over their heads and a lock on the door! And a toilet, and heat, and light, and a stove, and…. And…. And……
We were able to visit them in their new place and share in the excitement! We all prayed together and thanked the Lord for His amazing grace and mercy! There was no doubt that the couple was sold out for God and that they had fallen down before Him pleading for help in their situation. I did not follow through on my promise, but God did!!!
God is the only One whose promise we can ALWAYS trust in!!! God does not ever lie. He keeps all of His promises. He never forgets, or over promises, or ignores us…Our friends on North 1st street have shared how many people failed them throughout their lives…. Parents who failed to keep them safe as children, relatives who failed to love them the way that God wanted them to love, drugs that promised to make everything better- only to end in crashing lives, promises of easy money- only resulting in jail time, and promises of food and shelter- only to end in no one showing up.
Only God can help restore the trust that people need to believe His promises! I pray that God can penetrate their hurt souls and broken hearts. He can breathe hope into broken dreams and lost promises. God’s promises NEVER fail!!!
Can you imagine the freedom that we would all live in if we truly grasped God’s promises? If we really believed in the core of our being that God never break’s His promises??? That He doesn’t break ANY of His promises- Not even one! And that His promises are for each of us who believe in Him, not just for some separate chosen few…
It is not just our North 1st Street friends who would walk in freedom, but each of us who do not fully grasp the concept of God’s promises- Kingdom promises- as opposed to earthly, fleshly promises.
Here are just a few of God’s Kingdom Promises……
God Promises that:
· He is our Savior-John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
· Jesus is our Lord- Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name with is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things inheaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
· Jesus is our Love- 1 John 4:7-12 “For God is love.”
· Jesus is our Peace- Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
· Jesus is our Forgiveness- Psalm 103:12 “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
· Jesus gives us Righteousness- Philippians 3:9 “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:”
· Jesus is our Deliverer- Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
· Jesus is our Fellowship- Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
· Jesus is our Example- I Peter 2:21 “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
· Jesus is our Brother- Galatians 3:26 “For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”
· Jesus is your Guardian- Psalm 61:3 “For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
· Jesus is our Security- Romans 8:38, 39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
· Jesus is our Sufficiency- Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.”
· Jesus is our Fulfillment- John 6:35 “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.”
· Jesus is our Everything- Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply allyour need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
· Jesus is our Strength- Psalm 18:2 “The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God , my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.”
· Jesus is our Encourager- John 14-27 “Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
· Jesus is our Supplier- Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
· Jesus is our Healer- Psalm 147:3 “He heals the broken heart, and binds up their wounds.”
· Jesus is our Courage- Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord they God, he is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
· Jesus is our Life Giver- Isaiah 44:3 “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon they seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:”
· Jesus is our One and Only One to Count On!- “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
(These promises were taken from a book given to Keith by his mother- “God’s Promises for Your Every Need”
These are only some of Your promises dear Lord! There are so many more in Your Word! Thank You so much for such beautiful promises. I am your bond servant- I owe You my life because that is the very least I can do for You when You have done so so much for me! Please help my heart grasp more fully the completeness of Your promises! I pray that my friends on North 1st Street as well as all the world will know and trust in Your amazing promises!!!!