Laughing at the Promises of God

God focused on one man to bring to pass His promises.

“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him” (Genesis 12:1-4).

Five times in three verses we find the words bless, blessed, or blessing. We are blessed to be a blessing.


There are 7,487 promises in the Bible from God to man, and many of them are directed to us. Sadly, through ignorance, we live far below what God has in mind for us. We are the children of the promise (Romans 9:8; Galatians 4:28) and the heirs of promise (Hebrews 6:12, 17). It is our inheritance. God has many good things in mind for us. Some promises are conditional: they depend on our obedience for fulfillment. Others are unconditional.

Unfortunately, we often fail to take God at His word and do not believe Him to be powerful or sufficient enough to handle our problems. For the problems we encounter in life there are corresponding promises to overcome them.

“We sometimes denigrate Sarah for laughing at God. However, as incredible as it sounds, laughing at God is not that unusual. We in effect do the same thing every time we read God’s words and fail to put them into practice or hear his promises and decide not to believe them” (The Knowing Jesus Study Bible).

God, the Promise Keeper!

God is a Promise Keeper: “Deep in your hearts you know that every promise of the Lord your God has come true. Not a single one has failed! But as surely as the Lord your God has given you the good things he promised, he will also bring disaster on you if you disobey him. He will completely wipe you out from this good land he has given you” (Joshua 23:14-16, NLT).


Dick and Margaret were missionaries in a place caught up by an invasion. Their story is told in a book entitled, Steel in His Soul, The Dick Hillis Story. Dick developed a sickness and had to be admitted into the hospital. It was at the worst time. Margaret was sad as she watched her husband leave. Soon an army officer came with news. The enemy was near. Everyone should evacuate. Margaret and her two children could not leave. She stayed. She prayed. Early the next morning she ripped a page from her wall calendar. It contained a Scripture: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee” (Psalms 56:3).

The town emptied during the day, but Margaret didn’t move. The next morning she again ripped a page from her calendar. The new day’s Scripture read: “Thou, Lord hast not forsaken them that seek thee” (Psalms 9:10).

The next day when she woke she heard distant sounds of gunfire. She worried about finding food for her hungry children. Someone came with a basket of eggs. Another person brought milk. The calendar verse for the day: “I will nourish you and your little ones” (Genesis 50:21).

The sounds of war grew stronger and Margaret prayed for protection and deliverance. The next morning she tore the page from her calendar. It read: “When I cry unto Thee, then shall my enemies turn back” (Psalms 56:9).

The fighting came closer. That night Margaret could not sleep. Danger was close. But, in the morning all was calm. The army officer returned and knocked on her door. He told her in amazement, “The enemy has retreated. It’s unbelievable!” No one could understand it. Peace returned. Margaret glanced at her calendar and praised the God that promises.

God Gives

“If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!” (Luke 11:13, AMP).

Our God gives for our greatest advantage.


God Gives Life

“Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25).

“For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world” (John 6:33).

God Gives Eternal Life

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take them from me” (John 10:28-29, NLT).

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

God Gives Abundant life

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

God Gives the Holy Ghost

“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water” (John 4:10).

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).

“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

God Gives Revelation

“Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:12, AMP).

God Gives Rewards

“Be loyally faithful unto death [even if you must die for it], and I will give you the crown of life” (Revelation 2:10, AMP).

God Gives Healing

“Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk” (Acts 3:6).

God Gives Peace

“I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27-28, NLT).

God Gives Wisdom

“Give me wisdom and knowledge to rule them properly, for who is able to govern this great nation of yours?” God said to Solomon, “Because your greatest desire is to help your people, and you did not ask for personal wealth and honor or the death of your enemies or even a long life, but rather you asked for wisdom and knowledge to properly govern my people, I will certainly give you the wisdom and knowledge you requested. And I will also give you riches, wealth, and honor such as no other king has ever had before you or will ever have again!” (2 Chronicles 1:10-13, NLT).

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him” (James 1:5, AMP).

God Gives Understanding

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple” (Psalms 119:130).

“For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy” (Ecclesiastes 2:26).

God Gives Grace

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

God Gives Our Desires

“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass” (Psalms 37:4-5).

God Gives His Word

“In his goodness he chose to make us his own children by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his choice possession” (James 1:17-18, NLT).

God Gives Spiritual Gifts

“Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men. [Psalms 68:18.]” (Ephesians 4:8, AMP).

“God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well” (Romans 12:6, NLT).

“Now there are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but it is the same Holy Spirit who is the source of them all” (1 Corinthians 12:4-5, NLT).

Problems—Prelude to Potential

Lloyd Ogilvie said, “Problems are only a prelude to a fresh discovery of the Spirit’s potential.” The Psalmist David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word” (Psalm 119:67). “I will…transform her Valley of Troubles into a Door of Hope” (Hosea 2:15, TLB).


Eugene Peterson, in The Message sites 2 Corinthians 4 and translates it, “Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we’re not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times…We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, ‘I believed it, so I said it,’ we say what we believe…Do you suppose that a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us?…People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly…in hard times, tough times, bad times; when we’re beaten up, jailed, and mobbed: working hard, working late, working without eating; with pure heart, clear head, steady hand; in gentleness, holiness, and honest love; when we’re telling the truth, and when God’s showing His power; when we’re doing our best setting things right; when we’re praised; and when we’re blamed, slandered, and honored; true to our word, though distrusted; ignored by the world, but recognized by God; terrifically alive, though rumored to be dead; beaten within an inch of our lives, but refusing to die; immersed in tears, yet always filled with deep joy; living on handouts, yet enriching man; having nothing, having it all.”

“When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character, men of integrity with no weak spots” (James 1:2-4, Phillips).

“We are handicapped on all sides, but we are never frustrated; we are puzzled, but never in despair. We are persecuted, but never have to stand it alone. We may be knocked down but not knocked out!” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).

God uses Satan’s weapons of persecution as a means of moving the church into action.

At times we enter into problems, trials and temptations. We are tempted to quit. At times like these, we need to remember the words in this lesson, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than God, you decide. As for us, there’s no question – we can’t keep quiet about what we’ve seen and heard” (The Message). This response sounds throughout all time for those who are encountering opposition and persecution.

Like Luther, “Here I stand, I can do no other!” “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).