Genesis 15 and part of 16 give us several promises from God, most to Abram and one to Hagar. I am going to quote them first before saying anything further:
1. Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; [a]Your reward shall be very great.” (ch. 15)
2. 13 God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your [q]descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, [r]where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years. 14 But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with [s]many possessions. (ch. 15)
3.18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your [t]descendants I have given this land,
From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: (ch. 15)
We in the modern age have the benefit of hindsight and by seeing God make these promises, then reading how they were fulfilled gives us encouragement, strength and peace in waiting for the promises of God given to us in the NT and any personal promises he may bestow upon his followers. Abraham could rest in God’s promises as he had God’s fulfilled promises to Noah and his family to draw strength and courage from as well as peace and we have Noah’s, Abram’s, David’s and a host of OT promises to see that God is a God of his word.
Thus if God said he created the world in six, 24 hour days then guess what–that is what he did. If God said there is a place in heaven waiting for us then guess what– there is a place in heaven waiting for God’s faithful and obedient followers. I added a couple words there because I am not sure what is going to happen to most people, especially in those lands that rarely hear the gospel yet know God exists.
I think we will be surprised at who all will be allowed in and who will be excluded because we, for the most part, look only on the outside, the surface while God sees the heart and writes the names he wants in the Book of Life. But it is the example of God that we can have confidence in the promises we find in the NT. When the Bible tells us that we will receive ‘peace that passes all understanding’ it is because we know that both God and Jesus are men of their word and that they do not lie, play games, or fool around.
All we have to do is look at all the promises they kept throughout the OT to see what they will do in our lives today. If you are not sure what the promises are in the NT here are a few links to them, there is just far too many to place on this board, and some in those lists may not be actual promises but you will be able to see them for yourselves and then draw strength for your lives from the words of Jesus:
As you go through the promises there are two things you should do. First, ask Jesus to help you select the right ones for your life and that you get the correct context and meaning behind each promise; then second, follow the instructions of this verse:
“Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.” 1 Thess 5:21-22
Make sure you are being taught by the HS and not demons disguised as angels of light.
Most of the instructions from Jesus come with caveats and an example of that is found in his remarks to the woman caught in adultery, John 8,
He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. 10 Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” 11 She said, “No one, [a]Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”]
You will see that the bold words support Paul’s in the verse from 1 Thess. 5 above. When we get grace, forgiveness, fulfilled promises and other mercies from God then we do have a response to make for such gifts– we stop sinning. This is the problem facing the church today. So many people want the grace, the forgiveness, the mercies and so on but they do not want to do their part nor are they courageous enough to to tell others to do their part and that is –sin no more.
The church today needs strong leaders who will stand up to those who practice sin and do not want to change, but they need to do so with wisdom, understanding, love, and other biblical characteristics in order to bring about repentance on the part of those who opt for alternatives. The church is missing out on so many promises because of this problem in the church.
If you are unsure on how to proceed, right below that passage on the woman caught in adultery is another promise made by Jesus:
12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”
You eyes will not be blind as to what you are to do as a follower of Christ but again, there is a caveat– he who follows me’– this means you have to make sure you are following Jesus, use the 1 Thess. 5 verse to help you to make sure you got it right and then with peace in your hearts walk with Jesus. God’s promises are not lightly made, like some busy parents make to their attention starved children, so you can have confidence that what both God and Jesus have promised in the Bible, they will fulfill it.
All you need is faith like a little child. And if you are not sure how that goes, just watch a little child who receives promises from their parents. There is no doubt in their minds and they have great hope, so much so that they do not consider any other option but hang on to the promises given like life itself.
We can find out what faith God is looking for if we honestly search for it, then as we endure, we can receive the promises given to us.