Amazing Grace (3)

Every Friday in 2015 we consider a verse from our “Hymn of the Month.”

The Lord has promised good to me
His Word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

“You’re only as good as your word” is an adage almost all of us have heard. It is meant to inspire trustworthiness and dependability. It has proven itself true time and time again as we see so many failings around us. Whether it be the politician reneging on a pledge or weatherman getting the forecast wrong, we see the unreliability of finite man all of the time. In his third verse to Amazing Grace, John Newton casts himself on the utter dependability of God.

As it is with us, so it is with God. God is only as good as his word, and he has a perfect record of keeping his word. In Romans 8:28 God promises “that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” That doesn’t mean that we will never experience hardship, but it does mean that in Christ those hardships are redeemed for eternal purposes.

In the second line of the verse Newton says that God’s word secures our hope. What he means by that is that he has placed all of his faith in what God has said, for “faith is the assurance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1). In other words, we have our confidence in what God has said because God is faithful, he is trustworthy, and he is good.

Because of these truths, we can confidently declare, “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word” (Psalm 119:114) and “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).

Our God is faithful to all that he has promised, and he “has promised good to me.”