8 April 2000

"Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which thou hast caused me to hope. This is my comfort in my affliction: for thy word hath quickened me"-Psalm 119:49-50 Here we find the psalmist in the posture of prayer. From his language we find that his soul has been severely afflicted by something or someone. But in the midst of his affliction he has found comfort. Hope has arisen in his heart because he has read something in scripture, "thy word", that suits his particular need: he has found a precious promise and he claims it as his own. He has found a promise and claimed it as his own! GOD'S PROMISES I love God's promises. His word is packed with promises to His children. Peter refers to them as "exceeding great and precious". One man counted them and said that there were 7,487 promises of God to man. Another said that there was a promise suited for every trial and affliction. There are promises for husbands, for wives, for families, for nations, for children, and some for all of humanity. As Vance Havner said, "His promises are checks to be cashed, not mere mottoes to hang on the wall!" Have you claimed any of God's promises as your own? Some of God's promises are conditional: we must do something to receive them. Others are free for the taking: all we must do is claim them by faith. Some of them are boldly proclaimed, and whether we know about them or not, they are as sure as the One who made them. One that I claim most often is, "as thy days, so shall thy strength be"-Deut. 33:25. Here we find a promise for strength to face the trials and tribulations of each day. To every heir of grace is this promise made. All we must do is claim it. When the days are long and the nights are short; when hope has failed us; we must return to this promise and claim it as our own. Perhaps it is the one the psalmist claimed? To our children God has promised, "Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth"-Ephesians 6:2,3. Here we find a promise with a condition attached. God has promised peace and safety to those children who obey their parents in the Lord. Parents, have you shown your child this promise? Have you given them the Godly instruction they should obey? To all of humanity, God has promised that he would not destroy the earth again with a flood(Genesis 9:8-17). The beautiful rainbow is a token of this promise. Whether we know about it, claim it, or even believe it, the promise is sure. Are you weak? Your promise is found in 2 Cor. 12:9. You must claim it. Are you searching? Your promise is found in Matthew 7:7. Are you in need of forgiveness? Consider 1 John 1:9. Are you beset with sudden fears? Look to Proverbs 3:25. And so His promises go. Surely there is encouragement found in the multitudinous promises of God. But let me give you another thought concerning God's promises. Couched within every commandment we will find a promise. When God says, "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy"(Exodus 20:8), do you not observe the fruit manifested in the lives of those who do? We may approach any commandment by faith, the thou shalt nots, and the thou shalts, knowing that a promise is attached for, "he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him"-Heb 11:6. HOW TO CLAIM THE PROMISES The psalmist approached his particular promise by faith. He claimed it as his own and observed the promise as if it had been personally written to him from eternity past, "the word unto thy servant". It fit his particular need. It is the wellspring of his hope: "upon which thou hast caused me to hope". Then he calls upon God to remember His promise, "remember the word unto thy servant". God loves to be believed in. He likes for his children to claim His promises and call upon Him to honor them. Herbert Lockyer wrote, "The promises of the Bible are like an arranged measure of gems and precious stones and pearls of inestimable value in God's cabinet of spiritual jewels, and which constantly remind the Christian of His true, abiding riches. All of these gracious promises deserve to be 'bound upon our fingers and written upon the table of our hearts." Dear Christian, have you searched the scriptures to find the promises you need today? They belong to you! Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00. By His mercy and grace, Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor