The whole world seems a little shaky these days. The political climate is discouraging and draining. My retirement just got delayed until I am 110 years old. I am a devoted Cleveland Browns fan. Can it get any worse? Okay, the Browns thing got a little better on Monday night but you know what I mean.
I usually don’t think too much about my days in the legalistic church I grew up attending. You might remember me talking about the First Church of Jesus Loves You But We Probably Won’t. But for some reason today as I was praying, meditating and thinking about the state of the world and the AFC North I drifted back to that church. In particular I thought about a little old lady who always sat in the third pew on the right. And I remembered how she used to belt out hymns with great gusto. She usually wasn’t within sight of the correct key but she didn’t care. One song that she loved to sing off-key came back to me today. Standing On The Promises.
Alan Jackson sang this song in his collection of hymns that he released recently. I remembered the refrain in particular.
standing on the promises of Christ my Savior;
I'm standing on the promises of God.
To be honest those lyrics didn’t mean much to a young teenager. I didn’t know much about God’s promises. I hadn’t lived enough to experience his trustworthiness and love. Now I have. And now I understand why that sweet little lady belted out those words. God’s Word is loaded with promises. And these are not the kind of promises that we are hearing in debates and political ads. God’s promises are not meant to buy our favor. They are meant to redeem, comfort, sustain and mature us.
Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
listening every moment to the Spirit's call,
resting in my Savior as my all in all,
standing on the promises of God.
Wow. Something else came to mind as I reflected on the truth of that old hymn. It doesn’t say “leaning” on the promises or putting a little faith on God’s promises. To experience His peace and comfort you must put your full weight on these promises. Stand on them. I chose one promise to stand on today. Jesus words to His followers as He sent them out to make disciples and teach is my promise for these turbulent times.
And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Matt 28:20, NLT)
That just makes me feel a whole lot better about the state of the world. I might as well have a good attitude since I have to work another 55 years.