Last week I ran across an old friend, a scripture that had given me much hope, through many of my life’s trials. I have walked a lot of life in these last three and a half decades, so when a promise in scripture like this one comes along, it is one I cling to for hope.
“…then the Lord your God will restore your fortunes and have mercy on you, and he will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you.” Deuteronomy 30:3 ESV
When I read this verse, something new came to light. This promise isn’t for me.
This promise was from God to the people of Israel. God made this promise to them that He would restore them and have mercy on them and even gather them from the far places He had scattered them. I can only imagine the manna this poured out for their thirsty souls.
As amazing and hope-giving as this scripture is, God didn’t speak that promise to me. He wasn’t promising to restore my finances, or to have mercy on me. He was speaking the hurting people of Israel.
The thoughts kept rolling around in my mind. My Bible is FULL of the Lord’s promises to many people, but I am not one of them!
Here’s the deal. The promises of the Bible are not promises that God made directly to me. The promises of the Bible, were promised by God, to someone else, for me!
Do you remember that friend’s testimony of God’s faithfulness in her life? How He promised to restore her marriage and resurrect it from the dead? How it gave you hope to believe that He could do the same thing for your marriage? That promise He made wasn’t to you, but He used it for you. When He brought their marriage through certain death, He used it for His glory, and that glory was the hope born in you, for you and your marriage.
Through His word, and His promises made to others, we glean hope. This hope is born out of the evidence of God’s promise fulfilled in someone else’s life.
21 But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: 22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end. Lamentations 3:21-22 ESV
What we call to mind are the countless scriptures and testimonies of others. They remind us of the steadfast love of the Lord and how His mercies are unending, and it gives us hope. It gives us great hope to know that His mercies didn’t run out yesterday, and that I am not out of luck today.
God is still in the promise making, and keeping, business. The Bible isn’t the end of God’s great work. He is fully alive and well within you and I. He is fulfilling His word within each of us for His glory, that glory, is a hope born for and in someone else.
Father, I ask that as we call to mind our past, that we would see evidence of your great work in our lives and that it would give us a hope for our future. Let us never cease to share your great works in our lives with others, sharing our hope with them, for your glory. Amen