We’ve all experienced the pain of broken promises. Western culture can be characterized as a promise-breaking society. Political campaigns saturate our media-driven world with sincere and profound pledges for change—pledges that will be fulfilled when that person finally gets in office. Within months many of those promises are completely forgotten.
Owners, coaches and even players from high profile sports teams swear up and down that they will or won’t do (or haven’t done) something and within a week the facts speak to the contrary.
Religious leaders proclaim their integrity and honesty only to be found skimming funds or sleeping with someone they shouldn’t be.
Parents promise to spend the day with their kids only to be called into work or to take off with friends. A spouse vows to “have and to hold” until the separation of death only to be caught having an affair with someone half their age. When such promises are broken our hopes are dashed and our hearts devastated—a broken promise in many ways stands as a sign of rejection. We are not loved or valued enough for the person to keep their word.
It all sounds horrible—and it is. Unfortunately these all too real scenarios are unceasingly repeated day after day after day.
We’re all finite beings and sometimes people break promises because of circumstances beyond their control. A pattern of unfaithfulness, however, sends a loud and clear message: This person cannot be trusted!
Our response to such patterns always includes pain—often a deep-rooted pain that is accompanied by anger, bitterness and even substance abuse. In many cases we find ourselves desperately searching for that special someone who will show us truly faithful love.
The collective effects of a promise-breaking culture lead us to feelings of worthlessness and a sense of cynicism. And probably worst of all—they severely hinder our ability to trust God. We can relate to people through our five senses, but God is invisible. All too often their voices speak louder than His. Add unanswered questions to the mix and trusting God can sometimes seem near impossible.
NEWS FLASH! GOD HAS NEVER BROKEN EVEN ONE OF HIS MANY PROMISES! We’ll have more on this all-important story in the coming weeks.
Now when God made his promise to Abraham, since he could swear by no one greater, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you greatly and multiply your descendants abundantly.” And so by persevering, Abraham inherited the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and the oath serves as a confirmation to end all dispute. In the same way God wanted to demonstrate more clearly to the heirs of the promise that his purpose was unchangeable, and so he intervened with an oath, so that we who have found refuge in him may find strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us through two unchangeable things, since it is impossible for God to lie. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and steadfast ….” Hebrews 6:13-19a (NET)