Pt. 18 – The Christmas Story (God is Faithful to Keep His Promises)

God is Faithful to Keep His Promises

The theme of God keeping His promises is interwoven throughout the entire Christmas Story.

The Lord was faithful to His words to Mary, Joseph, Zacharias, Elisabeth, the shepherds, Simeon and Anna. God did for them exactly what He had said He would do.

There are 332 Messianic promises and implications in the Old Testament regarding Christ’s first coming. God fulfilled every single Messianic prophecy when Jesus came to earth—from His conception up until His resurrection and ascension into heaven.

For a complete list of every Messianic prophecy regarding Jesus’ first coming, I would highly recommend a book entitled Lamb of God: Yesterday, Today and Forever (Clarion Call Marketing, 2004) by Benny Hinn. Please go to his website at http://www.bennyhinn.org/ or http://www.amazon.com .

If God has spoken prophetic promises to you, or that of a loved one, just know that He will be faithful to fulfill those words in His due timing.

Numbers 23:19 (NIV) declares, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

God has promised us many things in His Word. Also, many of us have received prophetic promises that were spoken over us. We want to receive our promise or healing. We know that God is able to do it, but for some reason or another, many are not completely ready to receive their promise or healing at this moment. We have to get to the place where we not only know that God is able to do it, but that He will do it.

In John 5:5-9, Jesus came by the pool of Bethesda and found a lame man who had suffered with an infirmity for 38 years. Jesus said to him, “Do you want to be made whole?”

Rather than the man instantly saying “yes”, he gave Jesus the reasons why he hadn’t been healed in the past. Plus, the man was stuck in the mode of blaming others for his condition. When the man decided to take responsibility for his own life and stop blaming others and making excuses, then he was able to receive his healing.

If prophetic words were spoken over you and it bore witness with your spirit and is in agreement with the Bible, then trust God to perform His Word.

May we prepare our hearts to receive all that God has for us. May we make whatever changes God tells us to make, so that we are ready to receive.

It is time to cross over into our promised land and receive what we have been believing God for. May we not let fear, doubt and other issues get in the way of receiving our promise.

Romans 4:17 says that God calls those things that are not as though they already were. That is what we need to do … begin calling those things in our lives that are non-existent as though they already were in existence. Then we will begin to see those things come into manifestation.

God wants to do something in our life that’s bigger than us. He wants us to believe for the impossible. He’s able to do miracles, even creative miracles.

Jeremiah 32:27 (KJV) says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?” In verse 17 Jeremiah declares, “Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.”

When Zerubbabel (mentioned in Haggai and Ezra) had faced opposition to restoring the temple in Jerusalem and work had been suspended for several years, the situation looked bleak. However, God spoke through the prophet saying, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a [level] plain” (Zechariah 4:6-7).

We can personalize this for our own lives. Replace the name Zerubbabel with your name or that of a loved one. Declare aloud, “The Word of the Lord comes to __________ saying, It’s not by your might, nor by your power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before __________ thou shalt become a leveled plain.”

Matthew 21:21 says that if we speak to our mountain and tell it to move out of our way, and do not doubt in our hearts, that it would obey us. What is the mountain (the obstacle or problem) in your life that stands in your way and tries to intimidate or taunt you? You have to speak to it, telling it to get out of your way.

Luke 3:5 speaks of Jesus, saying that He would cause every valley to be filled and exalted, every mountain to be made low, every crooked path to be made straight, and every rough way to be made smooth.

God wants us to keep our focus on Him, and see Him as powerful and mighty and awesome. Who else is like unto Him? Who else can do what only He can do? There is none like Him!

Hebrews 11:11 says that Sarah received the promise (giving birth to Isaac) because she considered Him faithful who had promised. Like Sarah, we need to believe that God is faithful to fulfill everything He said He would do even before we see it happen.

Mary said to Gabriel, “Be it unto me according to thy word”, and then she conceived. May we have the heart of Mary and say to the Lord when He speaks something to us, “Be it unto me according to Thy word.”

This is a season of leaving the wilderness and crossing over into our promised land. There are giants there—new challenges and new devils to contend with, but God will conquer every giant. Although the old can be miserable, it’s familiar. The new seems scary because it’s a place of the unknown.

God has a “promised land” for each of our lives (a place of blessings, joy, abundance and fulfilled dreams). The Lord will lead us there if we take His hand, and be willing to leave the past behind.

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The Promises of God are YES and AMEN!

Habakkuk 2:2-3 Write down the vision and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

God’s Word is filled with many promises for our lives. Have you asked the Lord to do something specific in your life and you know deep in your heart that He said “yes” and made a promise to you that He would do it?

He may have quickened a Scripture that pertains to your situation or maybe He dropped a promise into your heart. Perhaps a prophetic message was spoken over you and it bore witness in your spirit that it was of God, and was a confirmation of what the Lord had been speaking to your heart.

What is your circumstance? What are you believing God for?

When God first promises something to us there’s the feeling of being overjoyed and a sense of expectancy. It seems like the promise will come to pass right away. In some cases it does, but in most instances a period of time elapses between the time God first shows us something and the time it comes to fulfillment.

Many times months and years go by and it still hasn’t happened. And have you ever experienced that feeling of disappointment that just when it seemed like the promise was finally going to come to pass, there was a sudden turn in the road?

Joseph is an example of having been given a promise and yet seeing a reverse in his situation. At a young age God speaks to Joseph in dreams and reveals to him that one day he would be a ruler and his family would bow down to him. Because of the evil actions of his brothers, he ends up in Potiphar’s house in Egypt. He’s been snatched away from his home and family and is made a slave in a foreign land. Then while at Potiphar’s house, he is falsely accused of attempted rape and is thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit. Joseph was a pure man, and now his reputation is damaged. After all of these negative events, he might have questioned God or perhaps thought that somehow he had missed God.

Then there’s the story of Sarah. She had no children because she was barren. God spoke to Abraham and told him he would have a son and would become the father of many nations. Months went by and then years went by and still Sarah did not conceive. She prayed and waited, and prayed and waited but it seemed like nothing was happening. She yearned and longed for a child from her own womb yet was faced with reality being the opposite. As time passed, now she’s not only faced with the fact that she cannot reproduce, but even if she could, now she’s too old and now Abraham is also too old. The Bible says that his body was as good as dead and Sarah’s womb was dead (Hebrews 11:11-12).

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”

What do you do during times like these when you’ve taken appropriate action on your part and done all you know to do, because James 2:20 says that faith without works is dead, yet it still seems like nothing is happening?

And the reality of your situation seems to be a contradiction to the promise or what you’re believing for?

The devil uses these opportune times in our lives to taunt us with words like: “It will never happen” … “Did God really say that?” … “It’s too late for you”.

God’s delay in answering prayer doesn’t necessarily mean denial. God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). Though the promise tarry it will surely come to pass and not prove false. God wants us to have faith and to trust him.

Romans 4:17 says that God calls those things that are not as though they already were.

Many times God uses the waiting process to refine us. The fire of delayed answers is one of the hottest fires to go through and tests our faith like nothing else can. Depending on the situation, sometimes God needs to work some things out first before He brings a promise to pass. The waiting process develops patience, humility, and a deeper level of trust in God. James 1:4 says, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect [Greek: complete, mature], and entire [Greek: whole], wanting [Greek: lacking] nothing.”

For some, they have been in the mode of delayed promises for 5, 10, 20 or more years. The sands of time have brought about a withering away of hope, and dreams seem to be dead or have little life. But God is a God of resurrection, and in His perfect timing, He will resurrect old dreams and fulfill promises He spoke long ago. Where there were years of disappointment, many tears, and lost hope, He will restore with a double portion of joy.

At the time appointed by God, He woke up Sarah’s dead womb and put life back into Abraham’s body. They named their son Isaac, meaning “laughter”. What joy they must have felt! Now all the years of shame and humiliation was finally removed.

And also suddenly (sometimes God acts suddenly), God intervened in Joseph’s situation and gave him the interpretation to Pharoah’s dream. All at once he was set free from prison, was placed as second in command over all Egypt and was given a wife, and she bore him two sons. God restored to Joseph many times over for all the turmoil and pain he had gone through. God turned Joseph’s affliction into joy—so much to the point that when his first son was born he called him “Manassah”, meaning “He has made me to forget my toil”. He named his second son “Ephraim”, meaning “God has made me double fruitful”.

God wants to do something in our life that’s bigger than us. He wants us to believe for the impossible. He’s able to do miracles, even creative miracles.

Jeremiah 32:27 says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there anything too hard for Me?” In verse 17 Jeremiah declares, “Ah Lord God! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by Thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for Thee.”

God is doing creative miracles even now, but in the days ahead creative miracles will increase (as our faith level increases to see God do more creative miracles). We will see or hear more testimonies about God restoring bodily parts that are damaged or not even there.

When Zerubbabel (mentioned in Haggai and Ezra) had faced opposition to restoring the temple in Jersualem and work had been suspended for several years, the situation looked bleak. But God spoke through the prophet saying, “Not by [your] might, nor by [your] power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a [level] plain” (Zech 4:6-7).

We can personalize this for our own lives. Replace the name Zerubbabel with your name or that of a loved one. Declare outloud: “The Word of the Lord comes to _________ saying, ‘It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before _________ thou shalt become a leveled plain.’”

Matthew 21:21 says that if we speak to our mountain and tell it to move out of our way, and do not doubt in our hearts, that it would obey us. What is the mountain in your life that stands in your way and tries to intimidate or taunt you?

Luke 3:5 speaks of Jesus, saying that He would cause every valley to be filled and exalted, every mountain to be made low, every crooked path to be made straight, and every rough way to be made smooth.

God wants us to keep our focus on Him, and see Him as powerful and mighty and awesome. Who else is like unto Him? Who else can do what only He can do? There is none like Him!

Hebrews 11:11 says that Sarah received the promise because she considered Him faithful who had promised. Like Sarah, we need to believe that God is faithful to fulfill everything He said He would do even before we see it happen.

In Psalms 37:4, God promises to grant us the desires of our hearts. Even though there may be a delay in those desires coming to pass, the Lord wants us to keep delighting ourselves in Him.

The Hebrew word translated “delight” in Psalms 37:4 is “anag”. Although the definition of the word “delight” is inclusive of “taking pleasure in”, or “enjoying His Presence”, in this particular passage, the word “anag” is used. It is defined as: “being soft and pliable” (or in other words, allowing the Lord to be the Potter and mold us and have His way in our lives; keeping a soft heart). In the next verse, vs. 5, God promises that if we commit our way to Him and trust in Him, then He would bring our desires to pass.

In God’s way and in His timing, He will fulfill every promise. This is a year when many of God’s prophets and ministers are hearing the Holy Spirit say that this is a season when God is going to fulfill many promises He spoke to people long ago. It’s a season of leaving the wilderness and crossing over into our promised land. There are giants there (new challenges and new devils to contend with), but God will conquer every giant. Although the old can be miserable, it’s familiar. The new seems scary because it’s a place of the unknown.

God has a “promised land” for each of our lives (a place of blessings, joy, abundance and fulfilled dreams). The Lord will lead us there if we take His hand, and be willing to leave the past behind.

Luke 1:45 “Blessed is she [he] that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her [him] of the Lord.”