Study: Consider moments when you have made and kept a truly important promise. How did that promise inspire and help you grow?
Pray: Ask the Lord for the gift to trust in His promises. Pray for guidance to follow Christ – even when it is difficult.
Serve: How can you help someone who is striving to keep their promise of faith?
Growing up, I earned money by baby sitting. I watched a number of kids (that is, until I got a driver’s license…), and I learned several valuable lessons. One of the things I discovered was not to promise to do something unless I was absolutely certain I could carry it out. If something went wrong and I had to change plans, the kids would shout, “You PROMISED!!!!”
Promises have tremendous power. A promise can inspire us, offering strength and hope in our moments of weakness. Promises are a sign of our trust in the word of another. We accept a promise when we believe that another person will live up to an agreement or contract.
There are two crucial elements about promises: making them and keeping them. Making a promise means that we invite another into a relationship of trust. Keeping a promise means that we fulfill our agreement through our words and deeds.
Both of these elements are necessary. If we only make promises (without fulfilling them) then our word is meaningless, and people are unable to count on us in a time of need. Yet if our fear of action holds us back from making promises, then we will never be considered by others as approachable or accessible; we become distant and separated from other people.
In the Scriptures today we see God’s promises extended to Abram and Jesus. Abram is promised God’s blessing and prosperity upon himself and his descendants. Jesus, revealed through his transfiguration, is promised the glory that will be fulfilled through his death and resurrection.
For Abram and Jesus, life will not be easy. Difficulties and sorrows will accompany their path through life. Yet the promises revealed in these readings show that they will be sustained in their trials. God’s promises will give both hope and life.
These promises belong to us as well. Like Abram and Jesus, we know the struggle and challenge that can occur in life. There are moments when we look to God’s promises to be made and kept, that we might persevere in our desire to live a good and holy life. May we accept the Lord’s promise of strength and guidance, trusting that as we live according to our faith in Christ, we are confident that the Lord is near.