walk in the word
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises (2 Peter 1:3–4a, ESV).
Precious is not a kindergarten word. When five-year-olds give compliments, they use words like fast, cool, easy, or fun. With age we realize some things are precious, a description conveying true worth. In the apostle Peter’s eyes, what was precious? God’s promises.
Peter is infamous for his impulsive behavior. In the Gospels, he was fast, foolish, and fluctuating—more heat than light in the early days. When we meet him again 35 years later in 2 Peter, he has grown slower, softer, and quieter. His writing exudes hard-learned wisdom. By then he knew what was precious. Just a few weeks after Peter wrote this final letter, he gave up his life for Jesus Christ. Church history records that he didn’t feel worthy to be killed in the same way Jesus was, so his executioners granted his last request: to be crucified upside down.
Over decades of following Jesus, Peter learned a lot about what holds the greatest value in this world and in our faith. He wrote of “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19) and described our faith as precious (1 Peter 1:7). He called believers precious living stones (1 Peter 2:4). He referred to Jesus as a precious cornerstone (1 Peter 2:6) and tells us about God’s precious promises (2 Peter 1:4).
Precious is a treasure for those who aren’t in a hurry. Recognizing what’s truly precious takes time and close attention. Precious also requires proving. Something doesn’t become precious to you until you’ve proven it so. Remember Gollum, the creepy little creature from J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings? In a croaking voice, he called the ring “my precious,” and obsessed over its power. Just as Gollum knew the value of that ring, we know something is precious when we grasp what it can do for us.
And nothing can do for us what God’s promises can: lead us through the darkest night, carry us through the longest day, sustain us through the deepest valley. God’s precious promises should be our most valued possession.
When Peter described God’s promises as precious, he drew on personal experience. He had discovered firsthand that clinging to what God has said is the best way forward through dark times.
When we wonder, Where’s this going? Where will I end up? How will my future look? Why do things keep getting worse? God’s promises anchor our souls. We don’t know how things will play out—and it’s the not knowing that is crushing. We doubt, worry, and despair because we can’t see the outcome. If only we could see for certain how this trial would end, we would feel reassured. But we don’t, and we agonize while we wait.
So we must review His precious promises all the time. We must remind ourselves that our faith is in God, who has never failed to do what He has said. He can’t lie, and He can’t forget. He will deliver on time, all the time.
Our faith rests entirely on what God has said He will do. His promises reassure us, as if He’s saying, I’m not leaving you clueless and wondering. I don’t want you to be crippled by fear. So I’m making some promises for you to hold onto during the difficult days. Don’t view life through the lens of what you see. Your circumstances don’t change My truth. What you saw clearly in the light hasn’t changed because the valley is dark.
The hardest moment of hanging on is the gap between believing His promise and receiving the fulfillment of that promise. During the interim, we must walk by faith. During dark, hard times of waiting, hold tight to God’s precious promises.
When have you experienced a hard season of waiting when you needed to hold tight to God’s promises?
How does your perspective on difficult circumstances change when you view them through the lens of God’s precious promises?
God, this Christian life would be easy if the time were short between my asking and Your answering. But that’s not the way You work. You don’t dispense fast-food promises. Instead You offer precious promises, true and sure. Thank You that You will never leave me nor fail me. Thank You that You’ve given me promises to cling to and that You will always do what You’ve said You will do. I choose to believe; help my unbelief. In the name of Your Son, who is faithful and true, amen.
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