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Sermon illustrations

Promises

The Gap Between the Promise and the Fulfillment

It isn’t easy to wait.  It demands persistence when common sense says “give up.”  It says “believe” when there is no present evidence to back it up.  Faith is forged in delay.  Character is forged in delay.  The forge is the gap between the promise and the fulfillment.  As gold is purified and shaped in the white-hot heat of a forge, so we and our faith are purified and shaped in waiting.

Taken from Waiting: Finding Hope When God Seems Silent by Ben Patterson Copyright (c) 1989 by Ben Patterson. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

God’s Promises

God’s promises are meant to move and motivate us. They are meant to instill hope. They are meant to give us courage. They are meant to defeat feelings of loneliness, inability, and fear.They are meant to give us peace when things around us are chaotic and confusing. God’s promises are meant to blow your mind and settle your heart. They are his gifts of grace to you.

In your heart of hearts, you know you could never have earned the riches that he pours down on you. His promises are meant to leave you in awe of him and in wonder at the glory of his grace. His promises are designed to be the way that you interpret and make sense of your life.

I am amazed at the numbers of believers I meet who are in some state of spiritual paralysis because they no longer believe the promises of God. Because they don’t believe the promises of God, they don’t have much reason to continue doing the radical things that God calls every one of his children to do. When doubt replaces awe, you will soon give up on all the gospel disciplines of the Christian life.

Your problem isn’t that life is hard. Your problem is that you’ve lost your awe of the God who made the promises that once motivated the way you dealt with life. Do you stand with hope and courage on the awesome promises of God? Or do you walk through the quicksand of questioning their reliability?

Taken from Awe: Why it Matters to Everything We Think, Say, and Do by Paul David Tripp, © 2015, pp.101-102. Used by permission of Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

Keeping His Promises

God’s dealings with us are always on the order of what he did with Abram and Sarai.  He makes his promises, and he will keep his promises; but just how and when he will keep them is something for which we must wait.  But keep them he will, and in ways other and better than we can think, as he works for our good in all things [cf. Rom 8:28; Jer 29:11].

Taken from Waiting: Finding Hope When God Seems Silent by Ben Patterson Copyright (c) 1989 by Ben Patterson. Published by InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL. www.ivpress.com

The Promise Made Up for the Faults

In Thornton Wilder’s play The Skin of Our Teeth the character Mrs. Antrobus says to her spouse, ‘I didn’t marry you because you were perfect. I married you because you gave me a promise.’ She takes off her ring and looks at it. ‘That promise made up for your faults and the promise I gave you made up for mine. Two imperfect people got married, and it was the promise that made the marriage.”

Thornton Wilder, The Skin of Our Teeth, Harper Collins Perennial Classics.