Love Came Down: God Keeps His Promises
It gets to this time of year and it is traditional to start looking back at all that has happened in the last nearly 12 months. Newspapers will soon be doing a review of the highs and lows of world affairs in 2016.
As for me, there have been plenty of highlights this year - a joyous family wedding back in June, exciting new projects and answers to prayers. But there have been challenges too - illness for family members and friends, disappointments and frustrations. We can feel discouraged at times, maybe even worry if God has forgotten us.
Isn't it great, then, that one of the main themes of the nativity story, indeed the Bible, is how God keeps his word? He may appear to be slow sometimes, but he never ever forgets his promises.
It is striking how the gospel of Matthew starts with part of Jesus' earthly family tree, going back to Abraham. Why does Matthew make this link between Jesus and his ancestors as far removed as Abraham? One reason is to remind us that God keeps his promises even if they take time in coming.
Back in Genesis 12:3 we learn of a promise God made to Abraham that all people would be blessed through his descendants. Even earlier in Genesis, chapter 3:15, we see how God prophesied that one would come who would crush the head of Satan, defeating evil.
Yet we had to wait millennia to see how God's promise to Abraham was ultimately fulfilled in the coming of Jesus. It may seem to us at times that God forgets his promises but he delivers in ways we could not possibly have foreseen beforehand. In Tim Keller's great book, Hidden Christmas, he describes God’s amazing faithfulness to us as follows:
'Think of the coming of the promised Messiah. This divine King was born not in a castle but in a feed trough .... He confounded all expectations, but it was only by coming in weakness and dying on the cross that he would save us. God kept his promise'.
And he keeps on keeping his promises. We can be certain, as Christians, that even though we may break our promises to God, he keeps his promises to us, promises of salvation, forgiveness, eternal life and protection.
Let's be thankful always and especially this Christmas.
Janet is married to John and they have 2 grown up children. She is a great believer that God uses everything in our lives, however apparently random, good or bad, to transform us bit by bit into the people He wants us to be. Janet volunteers in her local community and feels privileged to be involved in the women’s work in her home church.