One of the great needs of our day is for every one of us to recognize the God given promises that He has made alive in our spirit, whether through scripture, prayer or some specific act of ministry.
It’s one thing to say that the idea of the gospel of the kingdom of God is all about the promise of the reign of God in our lives which will rule for all of eternity. However, it’s a much different thing to recognize that this same incredible power works to change our lives in the here and now of our daily existence. This is exactly why we need to read God’s word and allow His promises to come alive in our hearts.
The specific promises of God bring a pathway for hope to arise in our hearts. When circumstances seem to be robbing us of the love, joy and peace that we so desire in life, the promises of God serve as reminders that the Lord is in control of all of these things and that He will not allow any such difficulty to keep us from our assigned purpose and destiny in this life, as well as the life to come!
In 1 Samuel 15:23, the prophet Samuel is lamenting for King Saul and the fact that he has “sinned and violated the Lord’s command and been rejected as King by the Lord.” But in the midst of his mourning for Saul, the Lord speaks to Samuel and tells him to go to the house of Jesse as one of his sons is going to be anointed to be the next king of Israel.
It’s a very dramatic way in which Samuel leaves no doubt that David was to be the king and that his anointing would confirm that promise. Jesse had seven sons that passed before Samuel, but the Lord had not chosen any of them despite their appearance and experience. When the youngest of Jesse sons, David, was brought forth, the Lord immediately said to Samuel “rise and anoint him; he is the one.”
It’s hard to imagine that as a teenage boy David could even begin to fully fathom what God was saying about his life and his place as a leader of the nation of Israel. He continued on in his shepherding duties and then not long after this moment with Samuel he find himself on the battlefield facing the defiant and imposing giant Goliath, who seemed capable of single handedly paralyzing the army of Israel.
Though there is no direct reference to it, is it not likely that David is aware of the manifest destiny that is on his life according the prophet Samuel and therefore, though all he knows is how to protect sheep using his hands and a sling shot, the hand of God is with him and he will bring defeat and death to this enemy to God’s people.
The promise of God is the source of hope and the soil of faith is hope believed.
We all know how this amazing story unfolds in 1 Samuel 17 and how David’s undeniable and dramatic victory causes Saul great jealousy rather than great joy. The young David goes on for quite some time, some years in fact, refusing to reject the Lord’s anointed king and choosing, rather, to have the Lord fulfill his promise in his time and in his way.
There’s a great lesson in that for all of us. When we receive the promise of God and when hope begins to rise in our hearts we do well to wait on the Lord to bring His promise to fulfillment. On more than one occasion in my journey I’ve been tempted to “help the Lord move ahead with His plans for me as He has promised” when in fact He really doesn’t need or desire my help at all!
Our responsibility is to take the time to hear from God and lay hold of His promises for specific moments and situations in our lives. As these promises come alive, hope will begin to take shape in our heart and out of the soil of that hope faith will grow so that in God’s perfect timing He will bring to pass the fulfillment of His promise in our life. This should bring us great joy and anticipation no matter what obstacles we might face. The fertile soil of our hope today is the birthplace of the faith that receives the blessing tomorrow!