37. STANDING ON THE PROMISES

WHEN I WAS growing up in Limestone County, Alabama, the churches nearly all had a week of special preaching during the summer. Most of the churches at that time boasted a number of hearty singers, and hymn-singing was usually a highlight of the service. One of those old songs comes to mind now and then. It’s title was “Standing On The Promises.”

I do not know if the author of that song, one R. Kelso Carter, got the idea from Peter’s second epistle or not, but it seems to me there is a connection. Peter’s letter opens with the reassuring statement that God’s power has given the Christian everything he needs for spiritual life and godliness. This provision comes through a true knowledge of Christ, Peter goes on to explain. But notice especially the apostle’s next words: “whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature (II Peter 1:4).

I like the statement from Dwight L. Moody which Dr. Lockyer put in the front of his book, All the Promises of the Bible.

Take the promises of God. Let a man feed for a month on the promises of God, and he will not talk about how poor he is. You hear people say, “Oh, my leanness! how lean I am!” It is not their leanness, it is their laziness. If you would only read from Genesis to Revelation and see all the promises made by God to… His people everywhere — if you would spend a month feeding on the precious promises of God-you wouldn’t be going about complaining how poor you are. You would lift up your head and proclaim the riches of His Grace, because you couldn’t help doing it!
Peter said that a true knowledge of Christ provides us with all that is needful for life and godliness. It is by God’s “great and precious” promises that He makes us partners in the divine nature. Let us spend more time feeding on the promises of God’. If you do not have a starting place, I suggest that you choose from the following — all “great and precious” promises of God: Psalm 1:1-3; 25:8-10; 55:22; Proverbs 3:5,6; Ecclesiastes 12:13,14; Nahum 1:7; Habakkuk 2:4; Matthew 6:14,33; Mark 16:16; John 15:7; 16:33; Romans 5:8-11; 8:1, 28, 31, 37-39; II Corinthians 5:1; Galatians 6:9; Philippians 1:6; 3:20,21; Colossians 3:4; Hebrews 4:12; 10:14; 12:11; I Peter 5:7, 10; Revelation 3:5.

Regular meditation on such divine words will enable us to understand Moody’s comment — “You would lift up your head and proclaim the riches of His Grace, because you couldn’t help doing it!” Or, as the songwriter put it:

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring;
“Glory in the highest!” I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.