My mother had lost her $5000 ring and had searched every corner and crack of her house with no luck. The ring was precious to her not just because of its monetary value but also because it had been a gift from a loved one who had passed away.
Weeks later as she sat heartsick looking at her Christmas tree and decorations her eyes fell to the many Christmas packages under the tree (waiting there for her children to claim them on December 25). An idea came to her mind that just maybe her ring had fallen from her finger as she placed the many gifts in their boxes.
She tore into each gift searching through sweaters, toys, ties and electronic gadgets. Finally she came to a present marked for me. Tearing the box and setting aside the wool slacks, there sparkling in the corner of the box was her diamond ring - found. Her sorrow was swallowed up in joy (of course, when she recounted the story to me my joy was swallowed up in sorrow).
The story reminds me of our value system. We on planet Earth value gold, diamonds, and silver mainly because these elements are rare. You do not find gold and diamonds just lying around your feet wherever you go. Because these elements are rare we value them and they (like my mother's) provoke emotions.
As followers of Jesus we are to value what our father God values. Which provokes the question: What does God value? What is rare to God? Gold is not rare and valued by God; His streets are paved with gold. God does not value precious rubies and jewels; the foundations of the New Jerusalem are laid with jewels.
The Bible is clear about what God values in 2 Peter 1:4 "Exceeding great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature..." The apostle Peter gives us insight into what God values. It is His promises; "They are exceedingly great".
God who created all things does not call gold or silver great because they do not measure up to the value of a promise. Everything our God does is based upon a promise from His written voice in the Bible. He watches over His Word to perform it.
The question is how do we obtain a promise and how do we get the promise to work in our lives?
Over the years thousands of people have approached me to ask for prayer. Many times I have requested of them what specific things they desire from God. Once I have ascertained what they need then I seek a promise in God's Word that covers their need.
When I stand for them in prayer, I stand with a promise. That promise is my faith builder. It tells me God desires to do that thing and so I can pray in faith. Through the promise God releases the answer and miracles occur.
Abraham became a father when naturally he was too old to have children. The book of Hebrews tells us the reasoin for Abraham's miracle; it was a promise. "For when God made a promise to Abraham..." "he (Abraham) obtained the promise" [Heb. 6:13, 15]. Earlier in the book of Hebrews the author warns followers of Christ to be fearful of falling short of obtaining a promise of God [Heb. 4:1].
There are thousands of promises in God's word that cover every need and trial of mankind. The sad thing is that most Christians facing problems do not know enough of God's Word to find the promise that covers their need.
My mother had valued her ring, and when she lost it her tenacious attitude continued to drive her to find it. If we who love Christ and value His Word would have that attitude we would never fall short of any promise God has entrusted to us in His written voice.
All you need is sitting somewhere near you now. It is a promise from God's love letters to us called the Bible.