Hi this is pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Happy Anniversary to me!
Yes, today is my anniversary. On this day twenty-one years ago I married my lovely bride Lynn. I make this shameless plug not because I want everyone to know my personal business…I am not that guy. I tell you this because I love my wife immensely, and since this is our anniversary, I find my thoughts on this Thursday to be firmly fixed on her. God has blessed us and our marriage and I am incredibly fortunate to have her as my wife. She is absolutely the best, and anyone who knows us…knows I am the luckiest!
When I think of our twenty-one years together and look back at the sunny August day it all began, the theme that breaks through all of the bright memories of that day are the promises we made to God and to one another. Promises are a weighty thing. They are more than words. When it comes to nuptials, they are conditions we willingly place on ourselves for the duration of our time on this planet. As people we all fail to keep our promises perfectly. No married person among us could say that we have cherished our spouse with every thought, action and word in every moment of every day since we married. There is only One who always keeps His promises.
So what are the promises made to us by our God who likens Himself to being our groom and us His Bride?
He promises to always want to hold our hand. Isaiah 41:10 says: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Just a few verses later in verse 13 He says; For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you. God reiterates that promise in Psalm 37:23-24: The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I don’t know about you but it is almost too wonderful for me to consider that if I will only walk by His side and choose to position myself close to Him…my God always desires to hold my hand.
He promises to be a source of unending peace. Isaiah 26:3 says of God; You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. In John 14:27 Jesus made this awesome promise to us regarding peace; Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. In John 16:33 Jesus went on to promise; “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Our groom has in fact through His resurrection conquered everything…even death! Everything in heaven and on the earth has been placed under His authority. There is tremendous peace that comes from recognizing that we are loved and cared for by the One with supreme power over all. Because of that, Paul was able to go on to write in Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
He promised to always be there for us. Deuteronomy 31:8 says; The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Exodus 14:14 tells us; The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Isaiah 43:2 encourages us that no matter what this life may throw at us, no matter what trouble may be on the horizon, our groom will be right there with us through it all; When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. Psalm 23:4 continues that theme, there the Psalmist makes it clear that; Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Finally, one of the promises of God that I love so much, one that is an encouragement of His ever presence with me is found in Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. No matter what God asks of us He has promised to always be there for us every step of the way!
He promises that He loves us! Psalm 86:5 says; You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Isaiah 54:10 Says of His great love for us; Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Centuries later Paul wrote of our groom’s love for us in Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. God promised that He will always love us. We know that love to be true as Paul wrote because while we were yet sinners, not caring at all for Him, Christ died for us. Jesus substantiated that by saying that it takes tremendous love to be willing to lay down one’s life to save another…exactly what He did for us!
There are many, many promises from God’s word toward us…His bride. There would be no way in this format for me to offer but a small spattering of them as I have done. It is good to know however that He promises to always hold onto us. He promises to give us peace, because He also promised to always be right there with us. How can He make such Promises? Because He has promised to us his great and unending Love. In contrast, His promises kind of makes the promises I made to Lynn twenty-one years ago seem kind of feeble. So what does He require of us in response to those awesome promises? It’s simple really. Give everything we have and are to Him so He can give all He has to us!
So now, basking in the promises your groom has made to you, walking ever close by His side…go be awesome!