“For bodily exercise profiteth little;
but godliness is profitable unto all things,
having promise of the life that now is,
and of that which is to come”
1 Timothy 4:8~King James Bible
THE PROMISES OF LIFE NOW AND TO COME!
We are all accustomed to promises and also accustomed to seeing them made and broken. Anyone who has lived for a number of years can never lay claim to having kept every promise made.
There are reasons why this is true:
1. We forget or forgot.
2. We sometimes were negligent.
WHAT ABOUT THE PROMISES OF GOD?
“For the promise to Abraham or his posterity, that he should inherit the world, did not come through [observing the commands of] the Law but through the righteousness of faith” (Romans 4:13–Amplified Bible).
“Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants–not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all” (Romans 4:16–Amplified Bible).
Now a promise is of no more value of the one who makes it; to carry it through with the willingness to do so. God did carry through with Abraham. The apostle Paul says in his letter to all the churches in Galatia:
“Now the promises (covenants, agreements) were decreed and made to Abraham and his Seed (his Offspring, his Heir), He [God] does not say, And to seeds (descendants, heirs), as if referring to many persons, but…Who is [none other than] Christ (the Messiah)” (Galatians 3:16).
ALSO in the book of ACTS:
“So now we are bringing you the good news (Gospel) that what God promised to our forefathers, This He has completely fulfilled for us, their children, by the raising up Jesus, as it is written in the second psalm, You are My Son; today I have begotten You [caused You to arise, to be born; formerly shown You to be the Messiah by the resurrection]” (Acts 13:32, 33).
The outline of Jesus’ life while here on earth was shaped by His trust in the power of the promises of God. When Jesus said: “I am that bread of life”, John 6:48; “I am the Light of the world” in John 8:12; and in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life”, He did so fully realizing that He had been empowered with this right by the Father; Who promised to raise Him from the grave. There were 500 brethren at one time who bore witness to the fulfillment of this promise recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:1-6.
I love old hymns and there is one I especially like that was written, based on 2 Corinthians 1:20: “For all the promises of God are “yes,” and in Him “Amen”. The verse doesn’t say “some of the promises, but “all” of the promises!
Standing on the promises that cannot fail
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail; By the living
word of God I shall prevail– Standing on the promises of God,
Standing on the promises of God!
2 Chronicles 21:7 tells us that God never breaks His word nor does He give us the right to break ours! Standing firmly in the howling storms of doubt is an ongoing process of spiritual training that Paul tells Timothy. He also tells us that in our spiritual fitness, there are promises that come along with the training.
THE PROMISES IN SCRIPTURE
Compare the promises in the following Scripture verses:
“THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield], I shall not lack” (Psalm 23:1).
“For the Lord god is a Sun and Shield; the Lord bestows [present] grace and favor and [future] glory (honor, splendor, and heavenly bliss)! No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly [godliness]” (Psalm 84:11)
“And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your EVERY need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
Are you standing on the promises? Are you exercising your trust in the promises of ‘not lacking,’ “grace and favor,” “your EVERY need” is being furnished? Spiritual fitness has benefits!
How about God’s promises of food and clothing for you and your family? Again, “Standing on the Promises”!
“His bread will be given to him; water for him will be sure” (Isaiah 33:16). Also read Matthew 6:25-33 and know the promises made about your food and clothing. “Standing on the Promises” of God.
How about God’s promises in Scripture regarding “comfort in affliction”?
For the baby boomers who are now entering a period of life that might bring these comments: “My kids are grown and left the home; I am a ’empty-nester’ , feeling old and not appreciated or needed any longer.” Are you feeling out of shape and ‘flabby’ physically and spiritually? You’ve got to get into shape! Start “Standing on the Promises” of God in old age. It’s never too late!
“Even to your old age I am He, and even to hair white with age will I carry you. I have made, and I will bear; yes, I will carry and will save you” (Isaiah 46:4).
“Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me” (Psalm 23:4).
Compare the following promises of God to stand firmly on:
“Better is the little that the righteous have than the abundance [of possessions] of many who are wrong and wicked” (Psalm 37:16).
Might those words not bring comfort to you in the ‘right now’ s’?
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you” (Isaiah 43:2).
There are many more Scripture verses on God’s promises that you can stand on. See how many you can find and claim, for that is a good way to start in developing your spiritual fitness. No matter what the age!
“Never lag in zeal (or fervor) and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoice and exult hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:11, 12–Amplified Bible).
The time is now for you start your “spiritual fitness” training. So lace up your tennis shoes, for now is the time!
1. Start out by walking and living: Galatians 5:1-26 talks to the issues of “walking” and “running”. Remember, God has given each one of who believe and trust His promises and a personal Trainer; the Holy Spirit.
DON’T GIVE UP!
“If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).
“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint” (Galatians 6:9).
I will leave you with one more verse that the apostle Paul gives Timothy and to us to ponder on regarding “spiritual fitness” and “godliness” training:
“Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them, so that your progress may be evident to everybody” (1 Timothy 4:15).