Does God fulfill His promises? How? & How can I have a Relationship with God?

These are excellent questions that get at the very character and nature of our God.

I’ll answer your questions in order.

Does God really fulfill his promises?

Psalm 117:1–2 (ESV)
Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!

God is a promise maker and a promise keeper. You’ve identified one of the countless “attributes of God”. The study of the character and nature of God is inexhaustible; however, this one is foundational to our understanding of him. As God’s redemptive plan unfolds in Scriptures we see many promises made in the Old Testament by his spokesmen, also called prophets, that ultimately are fulfilled in the New Testament in the person and work of Jesus Christ. The first mention of a prophet is found in Genesis 20 regarding a man named Abraham who we first meet as Abram in Genesis 12 where God speaks to him:

Genesis 12:1–3 (ESV)
Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Throughout the remainder of Scriptures we see the grand unfolding of the answering of this promise. We see it in the people of Israel as they grow into a nation of God’s holy, set apart people for God’s glory. Countless times God makes promises to the Israelites and, in spite of their unfaithfulness and disobedience, God continues to pursue and fulfill his promises all because of his unfailing love. Fast forward two thousand years and God continued to fulfill that promise. The Apostle Peter writes to the dispersed persecuted church, Jews and Gentile believers alike:

1 Peter 2:9–10 (ESV)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Fast forward another two thousand years to today, and God continues to call a distinct people to Himself through the very same means, the blood of Jesus Christ, our perfect redeemer.

John 14:6–7 (ESV)
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

God continues to fulfill his promises.

Why does it take God so long to fulfill his promises?

A very good question, and one that I would not presume to know the mind of God and be able to fully answer. However, let me say this. God is sovereign, infinite and is totally in control. He created time and space, but is bound by neither. We are the created who exist within those boundaries for a determined period of time. God knows what we need and what we want. I think we confuse our wants for needs, and when our wants aren’t being met we believe God is denying or delaying his promise or blessing. So if you’re in a time in life where it seems God is not fulfilling his promise “draw near to Him and he will draw near to you” (James 4.8). That is what God wants, because it’s his very nature. In fact, it’s the meaning of the name of his Son Emmanuel, God with us. Always remember God is in the waiting periods of our lives drawing us closer to himself to rely on him and him alone.

How can I have a friendly relationship with God?

By now I hope you see God loves you, Shawn. He desires to have a relationship with you through his Son Jesus Christ. The God of Scriptures is known by many names, but the one I love the most is “Father”. He desires to know you so intimately that he made a way, in spite of our sin which separates us from him, to be not only in a friendly relationship, but a loving and nurturing relationship with him. Jesus himself the son of the living God loves you, and he bore the wrath of the Father on our behalf so that you and I can live in peace with God. We find our hope, our confidence,our love and, yes, even our friendly relationship with God through Jesus Christ the Savior.

Hebrews 4:14–16
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.



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