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, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. —2 Peter 1:3-4
When the apostle Peter mentions how God “has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness,” he can’t help but look forward to the way God will follow through on His “precious and very great promises.” The word great means more than size. It’s also a measure of quality, and this dual understanding applies to what God promises to do for us.
Why are God’s promises great? First, because they come from a great God. His promises are huge because of who said them. Would you believe your four-year-old if he said in his best grown-up voice, “I promise I’ll make enough money to put food on the table next month”? A promise’s reliability is tied to the one who is making the commitment—and to their ability to fulfill it.
Psalm 145:3 says, “Great is the Lord . . . and his greatness is unsearchable.” We might as well admit we don’t have a clue how great God is because no one can discover the limits of His greatness. There are none. But His promises allow us to explore and experience a measure of how great He really is.
A second note of greatness in God’s promises comes from the way they address great issues. Don’t search the Bible for divine assertions about superficial things. God doesn’t do that. The promises He makes are about big things: fear, unknowns that would paralyze us regarding our future, our family, and our finances. If your god can’t promise you anything bigger than an occasional good parking place or the last piece of pizza in the box, your god is way too small!
God’s promises are also great because they respond to our deepest doubts: Am I going to make it? What’s going to happen up ahead? Who will care for those I love when I’m gone? God makes promises about this kind of uncertainty so we won’t have to wonder and worry.
As David declared, “I would have despaired if I had not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13 NASB). His encouragement can be yours: I’m not going to have to wait until heaven—I’m going to see God’s goodness right here on this earth while I’m still alive.
God told Jeremiah “I am the Lord . . . Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). Sometimes we look at our needs or our overwhelming circumstances and we feel beaten before we start. But God asks, What exactly is it that you think I can’t handle? To which we would have to reply, Nothing is too hard for You, Lord.
Does that give you courage and hope? It should. Holding on to God’s promises is the closest we get to actually holding on to God. His promises come from a great God, they’re about great issues, they respond to our greatest concerns, and God always delivers on them in the greatest ways.
Based on what you just read, what reasons do you have right now for being able to say, “I’m doing great”?
How have you seen the greatness and goodness of the Lord in the last few days?
Lord, You are great and Your promises are great. I realize I haven’t begun to experience all You have to show me of Your greatness, but I long to have You make me alert to the evidence. I want to look for Your goodness in the land of the living and point it out to others as I let it renew my hope. Thank You for Your great promises, Lord. Because they come from You, they make today worth living. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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