Giving Thanks for God's Promises
By: Dudley Rutherford
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, we often pause to reflect upon and express our appreciation for all that we are blessed with in our lives. Our family, friends, home, health, and job usually top the list, but today I would like us to consider that we can also be thankful for the promises of God. The great king and psalmist, David, writes in Psalm 121:1,
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?”
I believe that this short Psalm outlines for us three precious promises for which we can truly give thanks!
This first promise is for our feet. Verse three begins, “He will not let your foot slip,” which is a guarantee God gives us when we walk the path He has laid out for us. Too often, however, we seek to fix our own problems or find our own solutions to challenges in life. For example, the mountains or hills to which David referred in the beginning of this Psalm often represented places of safety. In ancient times, cities and fortresses were commonly built on hills. Furthermore, when being pursued, people often fled to the hills. David questions this symbol of safety when he asks in verse one, “Where does my help come from?” And here is his confident response: “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Oftentimes, when we find ourselves in a difficult place, we have our own “hills” or safety nets to which we run—medicine, money, lawyers, the government, drugs, psychologists, and the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, some problems cannot be solved by these “hills.” Instead, we need to look to God, the Maker of the hills, who also made us. He knows our needs even before we ask (Matthew 6:32), and He knows our every thought, even before the words are on our tongue (Psalm 139:2-3). Who, better than God, is able to meet our needs?
The second promise of Psalm 121 is for our sleep. Verses three and four read, “He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” What a comforting truth for those of us who often lay in bed dwelling on problems or worries for which we do not seem to have a solution.
However, we can rest assured (literally and figuratively) that an all-powerful God, “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20), works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28). Even though you may face trials in life, you can find hope that our loving God has a plan to “prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). You can rest knowing that God will see you through the storms, mold your character through it, and even prosper you in the end, spiritually if not physically.
The last promise of this Psalm is for protection: “The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (Psalm 121:7-8). This concept of “keeping” may be compared to what some people may do with their wealth. People monitor money, stocks, and investments daily because they things are valuable. How much more does God watch over us, whom He considers His “treasured possession” (Deuteronomy 26:18)? It is with this hope that the Apostle Paul boldly proclaims,
If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31-33).
If God gave up His one and only Son, Jesus, to save us from eternal separation from Him, what would He not do to protect us?
This Thanksgiving, may our hearts be at peace, knowing that God’s promises are faithful and sure—and that help is on the way!