It's human nature to feel disappointed when someone doesn't follow through with what they promised. For example, when your mom or dad interrupts your video game or phone conversation with a request to wash the dishes or put your clothes away, you'll likely answers "yes" without really hearing what they asked. When your parents ask the same question again, you may be tempted to answer, "Yes, mom/dad, I promise!" "I promise" are the famous last words of a human being who fails to do what they promised. Sometimes we don't follow through with what we promised because we don't really want to, and other times, we just simply forget whatever it is that we promised. There's a reason a lot of "seasoned" adults love to talk about the importance of being true to your word. It's far too common to say one thing and do another, so why not just do what you said you would do? Well, if you're a follower of Christ, you know the answer to that. No matter how awesome our promise, or how good our intentions, sin will make us stumble and fall. Thankfully, God gives us something to stand on.
One of the earliest remarkable stories of the Bible is the story of Abraham. In Genesis 12, God calls Abraham (named Abram at the time) to get up, leave his land, and go to a land that God was to make known to him so that He could bless Abram and make him a great nation. God says to Abram in Genesis 12:3, "Through you every family on earth will be blessed." Inevitably, God follows through with His promise. Later in Genesis 17, God changes Abram's name to Abraham, which translated in Hebrew means, "father of many." He then promises Abraham and his wife Sarah a child when they are approaching 100 years old and Abraham can't believe it. Inevitably, God followed through with His promise and Abraham and Sarah had a son named Issac. Finally, in Genesis 22, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Issac and again Abraham couldn't believe it. Despite this seemingly crazy request from a God who promised him a nation, Abraham prepared himself to go through with the sacrifice before God stopped him in his tracks. Yet again, God followed through with His promise and later blessed Issac with two sons, Jacob and Esau, to further advance a spiritual lineage of God's people that live among us today.
The story of Abraham is remarkable because it literally explains how we arrived at where we are today. Abraham was constantly disappointed in the short-term for what he thought was God failing to honor His promises, but he never lost faith, and God never broke His promise. We don't have the luxury of knowing what God knows, so it's why we have to trust Him. Hebrews 11:1 reminds us, "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." As the song says, when we stand on God's promises, we cannot fall. I'm standing on the promises of God.