“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Promises, promises, promises. Sometimes that’s all we get, so it seems. We get frustrated when people promise us things and then don’t follow through. When we ask about what has been promised, sometimes we get more promises. There is a saying in English that says “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” I’m learning that there are variations of this saying with more or less the same meaning in many different cultures. In Spanish the equivalent is “a bird in hand is worth more than 100 flying.”
What’s better than having a promise of the real thing? The real thing!
So what do we do with the promises we receive from God, whether they are written in the Bible or they are prophesied over us by trustworthy people? The Bible says that all God’s promises are “yes” and “amen” in Jesus. Can we bank on this?
Many people have been prophesied over that they are going to be healed from some terrible disease or condition but then they die without seeing it manifested in their lifetime. We then change the prophetic word at times to fit the circumstances, “They are now completely healed in heaven.”
That isn’t very comforting to the person who was awaiting their healing or to family members expecting a different outcome based on the promises given.
What do we do with prophetic words spoken over us that have not yet manifested? We hope. We wait. We partner with God to do our part in what He is asking us to do.
The passage in question refers to the reality that first of all, God’s promises in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah have all been fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ. Moreover, Paul does not want to appear any less solid than God in his character by not coming to the Corinthians after he promised to visit them and changed his mind. He had good reasons for not making the visit after all because he wanted to spare them the pain it would cause them.
God is not a liar. We can bank on the goodness of God. His promises have been fulfilled in the coming of Jesus. To quote this passage over every prophetic word that has ever been spoken over us may not be true to the intent of this passage.
God is a good God. He loves to give good gifts to his children. (Luke 11:13) He doesn’t promise us one thing only to leave us disappointed. You can bank on that.
By Ralph Veenstra