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Sunday, 21 December 2014

Advent 21: Waiting for someone to keep their promises

Breaking promises always hurts. Whether it is the tiny child whose Dad promised to take him to play football on Sunday morning but then got too carried away with his work, the teenage girl sitting at home because the guy who promised to take her to year year 11 prom ditched her at the last minute, or the couple struggling to pick up the pieces of a marriage where one person has been unfaithful. It is always painful to have been let down, especially by those you trust the most, by the people you let get the closest.

Israel had been waiting a long time for God to fulfil his promises to them. It must have felt very much like God had forgotten them. It must have felt like the one they believed to be totally trustworthy had suddenly abandoned them. They must have started to doubt God's character, to question whether he really was the good God and loving Father that he claimed to be. They had been promised a Messiah and a Messiah had not come. Generations had clung to the promise of God's saviour but hundreds of years had passed and there was no sign of him.

And then Jesus turned up. 

And God said, this is the One, this is who you have been waiting for. He is the proof that I am who I say I am. I am the promise keeper. Every promise I have ever made to you is fulfilled in Jesus. He is the 'Yes!' to all my promises. (2 Corinthians 1:20) He is the way that you know I am trustworthy. I do not lie. (Titus 1:2) I do not change. (Malachi 3:6) I always keep my promises. I promised to never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:8) and Jesus shows you that this is true. I promised that I would rescue you from your sin (Isaiah 43:1) and Jesus has come to do that. I promised that I would love you forever and have loved you since before time began (Jeremiah 31:3) and Jesus has come to demonstrate exactly what that love looks like. 

We have all been lied to. We have all been let down. We all know the deep pain of a broken promise. God does not lie. He does not let his people down. And it is impossible for him to break his promises. It would be against his very nature for him to do so. (Hebrews 6:18)

Reflection: Bring God the hurt of your broken promises this morning. Tell him about the times you have been hurt and let down by those you trusted. Ask for his healing and pray that he would reveal himself as the Promise-Keeper, as the the one always tells us the truth. 

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