“And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life” (1 John 2:25)
It is an easy thing for us to discount the promises of men. Each of us can remember a time in which someone has made a promise that they have not been able to keep. This does not necessarily indicate an ill intention on their part. They simply could not perform that which they had spoken. Regardless of their most-earnest desire, they still let you down.
Not that we as Christians are exempt from error – sometimes we are the one in the position of breaking a promise. How does it feel when your actions do not meet the expectations of your word?
In either instance, no one likes a broken promise. A broken promise injures both parties by destroying the hope of one and the trustworthiness of the other. We are told to let our “…communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” (Matthew 5:37). It is therefore a most-grievous thing to break a promise we have made.
We have to remember that we are completely powerless to keep our promises without God’s grace to establish our intentions. Man is powerless to perform his own word. Here we see the futility and foolishness of placing our trust in men. By contrast however, we can see that we have One that we can always count on: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man” (Psalms 118:8).
Even when man has let us down by not keeping his promises, God is still “…the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9). God’s promises stand not on our word, but on His Word. We have the assurance that “…he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13); and that it is “…impossible for God to lie…” (Hebrews 6:18).
God has promised us Eternal Life. This promise cannot be broken, because it rests on God’s immutability, rather than on man’s inability. Let us therefore give thanks to the Lord for the promise of Eternal Life (Jesus Christ Himself; 1 John 5:21), as a promise that He alone could keep.