I remember years ago, our oldest son stumbled onto something. He noticed the positive effect of music on his mom. In the course of some of the hard days that accompany life, he would put on certain types of music in the car as they drove. He noticed that he could encourage, cheer, and make her smile with some songs. When deftly deployed, music can have such a positive effect on us. What a discovery for a caring young son!
God’s promises can do something similar. In fact, they are meant to get stuck in our heads and instruct our hearts. They are to be what we meditate upon, feed on, and turn to. Like a familiar song with a catchy tune or meaningful lyrics, the promises of God should get stuck in our head.
Exposure to them will drown out the background music of this world, the pinching pressures of life, and by so doing God and his glory will take center stage.
Weary Pilgrim Encouraged
One incident where the promises of God help to encourage a discouraged man is the story of Jacob leaving Laban. In Genesis 32 Jacob is heading back to the land of Canaan. And he is leaving with a bit of wind at his back. Laban had treated Jacob like a slave and not a member of his family. But God intervened and abruptly ended the mistreatment. It is as if the door of a cell has been unlocked, and he has been set free. Now traveling with a large family, massive amounts of animals, and God’s promises freshly pressed into his chest pocket, you might say he has a pep in his step.
But then Jacob is greeted by angels (Gen. 32:1-2). Angels are important in the life of Jacob. In Genesis 31 (vv.11-13) it was the angels who informed Jacob that God would bless him in spite of Laban’s duplicity and because of his promises to him. This pointed back to the wonderful scene in chapter 28, at Bethel, where God promised to lead Jacob back to the promise land and use him to expand the covenant blessings.
So these angels are strategic. They are all about reassuring Jacob that God will keep his promises. God is with Jacob and he is for Jacob. It is similar to having a song stuck in your head. Seeing the angels again reminds Jacob of the song of promise from chapter 28. And like any song that is meaningful to you, it travels with you and is colored by your own experiences. Now this song of promise is colored by God’s obvious intervention in Jacob’s life to abundantly bless him and rescue him from his oppressive uncle Laban.
We Have Work to Do
Obviously, we don’t learn and know God’s promises by osmosis. We have to work at it.
We have to intentionally expose ourselves to God’s Word in Bible reading and meditation. This is the source of God’s promises.
We must prioritize the Sunday gathering to hear the preaching of God’s Word. This is where we celebrate the truth of God’s abiding promises together as a covenant community.
You need to get the promises of God stuck in your head so they cheer and encourage you throughout your day.
How familiar are you with God’s promises?
Do you have scriptural addresses and scriptural content to turn to?
Are you filling your mind with God’s Word?
We are meant to deal with the discouragement, anxiety, bitterness, and fear in life with the true and abiding promises of God. By turning to God and his Word we are instructed and refreshed.
In order to get a song stuck in our head, we need to be exposed to it. We need to hear it. So too with the promises of God. Spend time with God’s Word. Meditate upon it. Know, love, and plead the promises of God. They are certain to cheer and encourage you.