How can I know for sure that God is not going let go of me in life’s storms? How can I be sure that He will not change His mind? How can I know that my lack of interest in Him will not cause Him to lose interest in me? The writer of Hebrews reminds us that when the storms of adversity rage against you, when other people disappoint you, when your prayers go unanswered, you can still trust in the character and integrity of God. He will fulfill His promise for your life.

Hebrews 6:18 says that there are two things that God will never reverse Himself on, two things which a believer can always count on. God’s promise and His oath.

Regardless of what happens, regardless of the adversity and disappointment we face, regardless of the amount of time that elapses, we can always be sure that God will fulfill His promises to us. That is what faith is—believing that God will do what He has promised to do. But we need to make sure we understand what God has actually promised and what He hasn’t promised.

Today, the “name it and claim it crowd” would have you believe that you can ask God for anything—healing, prosperity, marital reconciliation, a promotion, etc—and if you believe strongly enough, it can be yours. Before you “claim it” you better make sure that God has named it!

God has never promised you that He will keep your marriage together, keep your children from wandering from the faith, keep you healthy, keep you from mistreatment, or that He will keep you from poverty. None of those things are promised in the Bible. He has promised you three things specifically.

1. God will not allow anything to happen to you without a purpose. 

Proverbs 12:21 says that no harm befalls the righteous. That is an unfortunate translation, because we know plenty of harm befalls the righteous. What it says in Hebrew is “Nothing without purpose happens to the righteous.”

2. God will never leave you nor forsake you. 

Like it says in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always even unto the end of the age.”

3. God will redeem your soul when you die.

Those are the promises that every believer can bank on. And they are as sure as the character of God. 

The second ingredient of hope is God’s oath! In the Old Testament times, if someone were to make a promise, they would offer a sacrifice, swear by the name of a ruler, or place their hand under another’s thigh.

But when God wanted to seal His pledge to Abraham, He could not swear by a name greater than His own, so He swore by His own name. God’s promise should be enough for us, but the Bible says that God has also graciously given us a pledge, a guarantee, a sign that He will fulfill His promise – the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1 reminds us that when you were saved you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise who is given as a pledge of our inheritance with a view to redemption of God’s own possession. The fact that God has placed His Holy Spirit within you guarantees that:

• He will accomplish His purpose in your life. God never begins something He doesn’t finish.
• He will never leave you. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “When we are faithless, He remains faithful for He cannot deny Himself.” How can God turn His back on Himself?
• He will redeem your soul when you die. The Holy Spirit is a pledge, a down payment of what God is going to do for you on the other side of the grave.

Therefore, in Hebrews 6:18, because of the unchangeable nature of God’s promise and God’s oath, we have “strong encouragement.” That phrase means to yell out encouragement to another person. The picture is that of a sailboat being tossed about in a violent storm. Just as the crew is about to let go of the ropes and allow the storm to destroy the boat, the captain shouts out words of encouragement: “Don’t let go, don’t give up, we are going to make it.”

That is what God is saying to us who are in the vortex of adversity and are considering giving up. God is shouting out to us strong words of encouragement: “Don’t give up, don’t forget my promise, don’t forget my oath.” Those are the ingredients of hope.