From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice” in the midst of life’s difficulties, in the midst of life’s situations (Phil. 4:4). This is the disposition Paul appeals to every Christian to display. Christians have ample reasons to rejoice, to be happy. Peter, in First and Second Peter, provides reasons for Christians to reflect on often in this Christian journey to keep them happy and excited.
For the month of January, in these devotional thoughts, we have been highlighting reasons or explanations for Christians to rejoice. Today, we shall analyze Peter’s eighteenth reason for having joy in this Christian life. In 2 Peter 1:4, he implies Christians should rejoice and be happy because we have “exceedingly great and precious promises.” Peter calls God’s promises “precious.” Some five times in these epistles, he uses this word to describe some aspect of God’s gifts to Christians. We can serve God with “joy inexpressible” and with absolute confidence that He will fulfill every promise made (cf. 2 Tim. 1:12).
The Bible contains several thousands of God’s “precious promises” and because He is “faithful” and “cannot lie” every one of them has either been fulfilled or will be fulfilled (1 Cor. 10:13; Tit. 1:2). We can trust God with complete confidence. Thus, we can continue to find great comfort in the old hymn, “Standing on the Promises of God.” Concerning God’s promises Moses writes, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good” (Num. 23:19)? God will never lie, or mislead us. We can trust God to keep His precious promises.
The Hebrew writer exhorts Christians to “hold fast the confessions of our hope without wavering, for He who made many promises” (Heb. 10:23), and we are told if we do our part, there is no doubt that He will do His part (cf. Heb. 10:36). Furthermore, Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:4, God’s promises are given for a reason. He declares that these “precious promises” make us “partakers” with Christ. A “partaker” is a partner. We can claim these “precious promises” when we become a Christian. The promises already received are causes for rejoicing, and the promises yet to be fulfilled.
We live in a world that is filled with doubts, difficulties, uncertainties, and frustrations. Yet, there is one thing that Christians can count on with complete certainty—God’s precious promises. God’s promises are reasons to rejoice and be happy – Again, I say rejoice!