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“Standing on the Promises of God”

Date: June 8, 1997-P.M.
Speaker: John Phillis
Main Scripture References: 1 Kings 8:56; 1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 6:17-19

I don’t need to tell you that we live in a world that is filled with doubts and with difficulties, with uncertainties, with frustrations and fear and insecurity. Harvey Porter did a good job of reminding us of that this morning. As a matter of fact, after listening to him I was rather discouraged about all of the things that face us in this life! No, not really. That was a great lesson this morning that Harvey Porter preached to us about having courage. But he did remind us of how discouraging and how depressing the news of the day can be. On the international scene, there are problems of political unrest of all sorts. There’s the continuing real threat of terrorism, and even a lingering threat of war. On the national scene, there are political scandals and corruption in our government at the highest level. There’s economic unrest. On the local level, you know, we have the problem here locally of crime and violence. We have concerns about our environment. And even our municipal and state governments seem to be running amuck at times.

On the job, we’re faced with increasing demands. Companies are “downsizing”. Budgets are tighter. You’re being challenged to do more with less. You’re faced with “downsizing,” which is another “politically correct” word for saying that you’re being laid off or fired. But with all of that, the requirements and the demands seem to increase. Even at home, we’re often faced with difficult things—things that make for difficult times, even within our families.

All of these things, and more, tend to keep us “off balance”, keep us on sort of an “unsure footing” in our individual lives. It’s often difficult to get solid footing—to get a good basis, if you will allow me to say it that way, to stand upon.

Well, in light of these things that we’ve just talked about, let’s consider, once again, the title and the words of the song that we just sang. I asked Ron Wilkerson specifically to lead that song, “Standing on the Promises.”

[The words to the song, “Standing on the Promises”:

Verse 1:
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.

Verse 2:
Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Verse 3:
Standing on the promises of Christ the Lord,
Bound to Him eternally by love’s strong cord,
Overcoming daily with the Spirit’s sword,
Standing on the promises of God.

Verse 4:
Standing on the promises, I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call,
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

Chorus sung after each verse:
Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

End of song.]

I want to examine a couple of key words in that title. The first word I want to discuss is “Standing.” The dictionary defines that word to be “remain motionless, or steady; to take up or maintain a position; to remain firm, or steadfast; to be located, or situated.” These definitions may invoke in your mind the idea of a foundation, a firm footing, a solid base. This may also suggest the idea of security, which is the opposite of insecurity and uncertainty—something to stabilize us, to keep us from being tossed to and fro.

The second word in the song title that I want to examine is the word “Promises.” “Promises”, according to the New Bible Dictionary, are “words that go forward into unfilled time.” These words reach ahead of their speaker and ahead of their recipient to make an appointment between them for some time in the future.

Several types of promises are described, including “an assurance of continuing or future action” on behalf of someone. For example, “I promise to keep…” (I almost said, “to keep preaching!”) “I promise to quit preaching on time tonight.”

There is also a solemn agreement of a lasting and mutual relationship. An example of that might be the marriage vows that many of us have taken. You know, I promise to love, cher…uh…well, you know what they were!!

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