17 Promises Of God For Past, Present, And Future

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There have been lots of attempts to track how many of God’s promises are recorded in Scripture. The numbers range from hundreds to thousands. 

And the promises themselves range in nature and timing. There are conditional promises which depend on something from the receiver, such as faith or obedience. We see promises of something to come, otherwise known as prophecies, some of which have been fulfilled and others yet to come. We also find some promises of rewards or benefits and other promises of judgment and vindication.

The Bible records promises from God made to specific individuals, to groups or types of people, such as the Jewish nation or people who are righteous, and others to people who are unrighteous. Still other promises were made by God to only believers and some to all people everywhere. 

Standing On The Promises Of God

I remember growing up in a very small Pennsylvania church and singing hymns with Rhoda Henderson playing the piano. Later it was the organ with my Aunt Pat, and even later, myself at the piano or the organ. 

One of many hymns that I can still remember almost every word from is “Standing On The Promises”. Some of the men would chime in with their deep voices for the extra parts in the chorus, which goes, “Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior. Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.”

God’s Promises

We will first focus on these basic and simple promises God has given us. Unless otherwise noted, these Scriptures are from the English Standard Version.

1 John 1:9

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

This is an open promise to everyone (and not just Christians). How do we know this? Because there is no person who does not have sins. Romans 3:23 tells us “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. 

God is promising forgiveness for all people. If we will confess our sins to Him, He will forgive and we will be cleansed.

Ephesians 1:13-14

“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory.” 

God promised the Holy Spirit to dwell inside every true believer. In fact, the progression goes just as this passage describes. First, we hear the gospel, we believe in Jesus Christ, then we receive and are sealed with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the guarantee that we will receive what God has promised, that He paid the price for us to be His own.

Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”

God is always at work for our good, for the good of those who love Him, and who trust that He has a plan and purpose for our lives.

No matter what situation or difficulty we are in, no matter how out of control things seem, we can know for sure that He is at work throughout every aspect of it.

And when the situation is over, we can often look back and see what He was doing that we were completely unaware of. 

1 Corinthians 10:13

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”

God promises a way of escape from every temptation we will encounter. However, we, as flawed humans with free will, sometimes choose to avoid the escape. But if we will keep this promise front and center when we are tempted, and if we really want an escape, it is there, provided by our good heavenly Father, who takes care of us in a way no one else can. 

John 14:1-3

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.”

Jesus will be returning. It’s a promise. We may have to wait in faithfulness all of our lives, but we can be sure that He will come back and take us with Him to eternal life in heaven. 

James 1:5-8

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get His help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.” (MSG)

When we don’t know what to do or to say, we can run to God in bold and confident prayer asking Him to give us the wisdom we need to get through. There is a condition here, that we must not waver. When we ask, we must expect His answer to be the one, no wavering or dividing our loyalty between God and worldly wishes.  

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”

We may have heard this one often, and at all kinds of public gatherings, but if we will read it as if it’s the first time we’ve heard it, the promise is clear. It’s sometimes helpful to read old familiar verses from a different translation, just to get the ring of it all over again. This is a beautiful promise for all Christians. 

Hebrews 10:23

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.” (NLT)

And this promise guarantees that God’s promises can be trusted. We can count on what he has told us. We can hope without faltering in any way. God can be trusted to keep His promises. I love that. 

Prophetic Promises Of God

God made some promises to a specific person or group of people (the Israelites). Featured below are promises that are actually prophecies, and each of these particular prophecies has been fulfilled. They have happened, for real. And knowing that, we can have even more trust in His promises.

Genesis 28:14

“Your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.”

This prophecy has been fulfilled in Jesus. You see, Jesus was the offspring of Jacob, to whom these words were spoken by God. Luke lists the genealogy of Jesus in Luke chapter 3. And that all families of the earth will be blessed, which is up to each individual if he or she will choose Jesus Christ as their Savior. 

Isaiah 53:4-5

“Yet it was our weaknesses He carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for His own sins! But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (NLT)

God foretold, through the prophet Isaiah, the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus. The detail is almost shocking, since it was written so many years before it actually happened. Isaiah, who had the vision, may not have understood all of it, but He knew it was a story from God that was vital to God’s people and must be told.  

Deuteronomy 4:26-29

“Today I call on heaven and earth as witnesses against you. If you break my covenant, you will quickly disappear from the land you are crossing the Jordan to occupy. You will live there only a short time; then you will be utterly destroyed. For the LORD will scatter you among the nations, where only a few of you will survive. There, in a foreign land, you will worship idols made from wood and stone – gods that neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell. But from there you will search again for the LORD your God. And if you search for Him with all your heart and soul, you will find Him.” (NLT)

Moses warned the Israelites that if they did not obey God, they would be scattered to other nations. There are many prophecies of exile throughout the Old Testament, and just as prophesied, it happened. There were several phases and time periods of exile for the Jewish people.

But many of the prophecies, such as this one, also contained comforting news that if they would turn back to their God, He would return them to their nation. And so it happened. 

Promises Of God We Can Look Forward To

There are many promises throughout the entire Bible of the end times of this world. Some are very specific and some are more vague. God has told us everything he wants us to know in His Word – just enough but not too much.

Revelation 1:1-3

“The Revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show His servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending His angel to His servant John, who testifies to everything he saw – that is, the Word of God and the testimony of Jesu Christ. Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.” (NIV)

God gave the apostle John the entire book of Revelation to tell the world of what is still to come before, during, and after the end times. The writing is called Apocalyptic literature, and is not easily interpreted. The purpose of this prophetic book is not for us to know every detail, but for us to be prepared by knowing Jesus. 

2 Peter 3:10

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”

We may not know just when these things will happen, but we can know from the Bible that there is an end in God’s sight, and we do not know exactly when that will be.

Once again, the purpose is clear. We must each see to it that we are ready. 

God’s Promises For Times Of Waiting

It takes patience to wait for something that’s promised for the future. As we wait, we can rest on the immediate promises God has given us.

Being able to look back at the prophecies that have already happened shores us up while we wait for the coming of the promise. 

Psalm 31:24

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!”

Times of waiting are hard, but God gives us good reason to be courageous in the waiting, no matter what we are waiting for Him to do. 

Acts 1:7

“He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority.”

God doesn’t want us to obsess over timing, but we can use the waiting time to accomplish what He has for us to do – prepare others and ourselves for His coming. 

2 Peter 3:9

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

If we are living the Christian life, we are a living testimony. We still have opportunities to plant seeds and tell other about Jesus. 

Isaiah 64:4

“From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides You, who acts for those who wait for Him.”

No matter the situation or why we’re waiting, we have a God who is always acting on our behalf, even in the waiting. 

In Conclusion

So, we’ve looked at various types of promises from God. These and more are right there on the pages of our Holy Bible. When you need to hear and believe God’s promises, seek Him in the Word. There you will find him, both in the past, the present, and in the future. He is in all of those places. 

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