Disregard for a moment your convictions about gambling, and take note of something special in this news story.
On Friday, March 29, 1984, Robert Cunningham ate a meal of linguine and clam sauce at his favorite restaurant, Sal’s pizzeria, where he had been a regular customer for seven years. His waitress, Phyllis Penza, had worked at Sal’s for nineteen years.
After his meal Cunningham made a good-natured offer to Penza. He said she could either have a tip or split his winnings if his number was drawn in the upcoming New York lotto. Penza chose to take a chance on the lottery, and she and Cunningham chose the numbers together.
On Saturday night, Cunningham won. The jackpot was six million dollars. Then he faced the moment of truth. Would he keep his promise? Would he give the waitress a “tip” of three million dollars?
Cunningham, a police sergeant, husband, father of four, and grandfather of three, said, “I won’t back out. Besides, friendship means more than money.”
Promises are to be kept no matter what the cost.
A promise is an assurance given to a person with respect to the future, stating that the promisor will do or give something to the advantage or pleasure of the promisee.
In the context of human relationships, promises are often made, and promises are often broken. When someone breaks his or her promise to us, it leaves us disappointed and shatters our confidence in the one who made the promise. I have a message for you today. There is someone, that when He makes a promise to you, He will never leave you disappointed or shatter your confidence in him. The message for you today: God Keeps His Promises.
Throughout the Bible, God assures us of His love and care for us through His great and precious promises. It is the reassurance of this love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness that should fan the flames of our hope in Him when we are troubled, disheartened or discouraged.
During this holiday season, I encourage you to focus on four specific promises that God has made to his children.
1. God has promised to give you peace (John 14:27). “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid. (The Living Bible)
2. God has promised to help you maintain your peace (Isaiah 26:3). He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord! (The Living Bible)
3. God has promised to heal your broken heart (Psalm 147:3). He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds. (The Living Bible)
4. God has promised to comfort you in every crisis (Psalm 23:4). Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way. (The Living Bible)
Close: This holiday season, refuse to allow the flames of your hope to be extinguished. Refuse to allow the cares of life to control your life. Refuse to be burdened and overwhelmed to the point of psychological confusion and physical depletion.
This holiday season, stay connected to sources of hope that remind you of God’s care for you, his control over everything, and his compassion that is at work in your life.