Lessons In Truth - Lesson 6 - Annotation 7
What are the "promises of God"?
The word promise comes from the Latin promissum meaning "to put forth" from pro (forward) and mittere, to send. The "promises of God" are "put forth," "sent forward" to indicate what may be expected as a result of obedience to the laws back of the promises, for as we have already learned, everything is governed by law.
In the almanac we find the time of the "rising and setting" of the sun, the dates of the different seasons of the year, and the like. We find the "promises of God" in the universe as the stars that indicate position and direction, as all the signs that indicate climate, atmosphere, weather, temperature. The understanding of the latter has been invaluable to scientists in delving into the secrets of the universe, and especially the attempts to conquer outer space. In nature we find the "promise of God" in the tiny grain of wheat, which, planted under proper conditions, "promises" an abundant harvest.
So far as we are concerned, the "promises of God" relating to us as His children are more in the nature of a contract, covenant, or agreement between us and God. Our part in the contract or agreement is to make the demand or claim for the good that is ours by divine inheritance through the use of affirmative prayer backed by understanding faith. We then follow our prayer with obedience to divine laws. God's part is to honor our request or demand with His supply of good in the form of the divine ideas needed to manifest in our life as: illumination and peace in mind, healing and strength in body, harmony and love in human relations, achievement and abundance in our affairs. Our scriptures tell us,
Every promise in the Bible points to a good result that will follow certain action on our part. However, many of the Bible promises, such as the following, have been interpreted as implying future time for fulfillment:
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" (Matt. 7:7).
The "shall" as used here does not mean in the future, but rather indicates a certainty of the action of divine law. Our part is to do the asking, seeking, knocking (that is, make the demand for some good) by use of affirmations, and by abiding in the consciousness of God as the source of all good. Then automatically the promises will be fulfilled for God's laws always work. Should the promise appear not to have been fulfilled, it is because we have not kept all of our part of the contract. We have not exercised sufficient understanding faith in God to permit us to claim what has been promised to us. Perhaps we have not followed up our claim, or demand, by acting in conformity with the laws of God.
Preceding Entry: How may we know what effects will follow certain states of mind?
Following Entry: Does asking for the thing we desire play a part in spiritual demonstration?