There is nothing sweeter than a promise kept. It’s the fulfillment of your hope, the good news to ease your uncertainty, and the truest test of another’s loyalty. When everything looks bleak, we can still hold on to a promise. But in a world given up on trust, we settle for collateral, down payments, and the threat of being sued to hold people to their word. Is a promise really worth anything to anyone anymore? Perhaps we’ve lost the desire to believe in promises because we know of so many people that don’t keep them. And while there’s nothing sweeter than a promise kept, there’s also nothing more shattering than a promise broken.
There’s a part of the Christmas story of our Savior Jesus Christ that often goes overlooked. In the book of Luke, chapter 2, we are introduced to a new character. His name is Simeon, and you gotta check this guy out. Scripture describes him as being just and devout, and then says that he was “waiting for the Consolation of Israel…” Who is this Consolation of Israel you ask? That was the name used by Rabbi’s to refer to our coming King, the salvation of Israel. Simeon was waiting for the Messiah! He was holding to the promise of redemption made thousands of years ago, even starting in the Garden of Eden. A large portion of Jews had either let go of that promise, grown cold to the possibility, or become indifferent—seeing only the captivity and rule that was around them. But Simeon never forgot.
Furthermore, the Lord promised Simeon that his eyes would see the face of the Lord’s Christ before he died. What a promise! I’m not sure how old he was exactly, but I’m led to believe that God gave him an opportunity to exercise faith. I could imagine that possible old age, doubt from friends, and increased Roman tyranny would have left Simeon wondering if that promise would really come to pass. But what’s the purpose of a promise anyway? Is there any value in it if we don’t use it? It’s the very proof behind a claim- unseen, yet very real. And the beauty of a promise is found when the word of the promise maker is deemed more reliable than the very circumstances surrounding the situation. Come what may, Simeon knew that God’s promise was worth trusting. And when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple, Simeon witnessed the word of the Lord fulfilled, and the Word of the Lord in the flesh.
So in the midst of this holiday, we reflect on the greatest Promise ever kept. The Lord promised a Savior, and we have access to Him through Jesus Christ. But let me ask you. Are there any other promises that God has made to you, perhaps not yet fulfilled? Let me remind you that He is good for it. Circumstance can’t stand in the way of what God has said will be. So don’t lose heart! Let the very arrival of Jesus Christ remind you that He is faithful. Corrie Ten Boom said it well, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” Oh how right she is! Hebrews 10 speaks of God in saying, “He who promised is faithful.”
So hold on tight friends. The train is coming to the station, and we have a very capable Engineer. I promise.