(From Part 2: The Promise of the Father)
Like most people, I love promises. I especially love the promises in Scripture, promises we can claim and apply to our lives because they’ve been spoken out by God.
Imagine my excitement, then, when I discovered that Jesus referred to Holy Spirit as “the promise of the Father” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4; 2:33).
It started me reflecting on the Holy Spirit as the workhorse or powerplant of the Godhead. He brings to your heart everything from the Father’s heart. He makes real all that Jesus purchased.
It’s the Holy Spirit’s privilege, perhaps his job description, to help you know the vast expanse of promises available to you, and to help you experience life and freedom through them. That’s why, as the Helper, he is the promise of the Father.
Some time ago, I was visiting a person who has what I can only describe as a doom-and-gloom view of Christianity, the world, politics, and economics. She is known for what she’s against, loves a good conspiracy theory, and struggles to see much that is positive—yet is ardent about the Christian faith.
Over a cup of tea one day, I ventured into uncharted territory. “Do you mind,” I inquired, “if I show you a different perspective of faith and life, one that will perhaps fill you with more hope?”
“I don’t mind one bit,” she surprised me by replying, “you go right ahead.”
I found a scrap piece of paper, and on the very right-hand side wrote the word problems.
“It seems to me,” I tip-toed, “you see a lot of these.”
This began a litany of what is wrong with the leaders of her congregation, the liberal beliefs of pastors across her denomination, the wretched communists lurking in our political parties, the lack of fresh supply in the local supermarket chain … you name it.
I then asked her if she wanted another outlook on those vexing issues.
When she replied affirmatively, I went to the same scrap piece of paper, and this time, on the very left-hand side, wrote the word promises.
“One facet I love of life in the Kingdom of God,” I unfolded, “is the number of promises there are for us. God apportions thousands of them. For sure, some are duplicated, but you could easily go a couple of years writing down a new promise of God each day and not repeat the same verse.”
She looked astounded, even hopeful.
“Here’s the thing,” I continued, and wrote the word provision between the other two, so that the scrap piece of paper looked like this:
Promises ⇒ Provision ⇒ Problems
“In God’s promises are provision for the problems. Holy Spirit, as the Promise, releases promises from the Father’s heart.”
“I like that,” she said, “but is it true? How do I know it works?”
“Let’s try a little exercise,” I invited. I’ll say a single word from one of God’s promises, and I want you to speak out the first thing that comes to your mind. Okay?”
So, referring to God’s promise to Noah and his family after their rescue, I shared: “Rainbow.”
Immediately, she retorted, “Flood, inundation, obliteration, disaster!”
I was speechless. Seeing the look on my face she inquired as to my response.
Gently and lovingly, I looked her in the eyes and said, “Rescue, covenant, faithfulness, dove, fresh start, promise.”
She lowered her eyes and said, “I see what you mean.”
“Many of the Father’s promises are related to your identity,” I assured her. “When you know you’re his precious daughter, it can change your whole outlook.”
Indeed, it can.