As Easy to Do as to Say
I do try to keep my promises, but sometimes I fail. Sometimes things happen that make what I promised impossible. Sometimes a promise was made foolishly, and can’t be kept. Sometimes I’m just negligent, and forget. I would like to say you can always count on me, but the sad fact is, you can’t. In fact, there is only one who can be trusted to always keep his promises.
There is one grand difference between the promises of Adam’s children and the promises of God, which ought never to be forgotten. The promises of man are not sure to be fulfilled. With the best wishes and intentions, he cannot always keep his word. Disease and death may step in like an armed man, and take away from this world him that promises. War, or pestilence, or famine, or failure of crops, or hurricanes, may strip him of his property, and make it impossible for him to fulfil his engagements. The promises of God, on the contrary, are certain to be kept. He is Almighty: nothing can prevent His doing what He has said. He never changes: He is always ‘of one mind’: and with Him there is ‘no variableness or shadow of turning’ (Job 23:13; James 1:17). He will always keep His word. There is one thing which . . God cannot do: ‘It is impossible for God to lie’ (Heb. 6:18). The most unlikely and improbable things, when God has once said He will do them, have always come to pass. The destruction of the old world by a flood, and the preservation of Noah in the ark, the birth of Isaac, the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the raising of David to the throne of Saul, the miraculous birth of Christ, the resurrection of Christ, the scattering of the Jews all over the earth, and their continued preservation as a distinct people—who could imagine events more unlikely and improbable than these? Yet God said they should be, and in due time they all came to pass. In truth, with God it is just as easy to do a thing as to say it. Whatever He promises, He is certain to perform.
—J. C. Ryle, Holiness (Banner of Truth, 2014), 362.
What It Means to Be a Christian
What I Believe