I have a devotional journal called “Streams in the Desert”. The original text was published in 1925, a collection of thoughts and inspirations collected by a missionary to Japan and China as an additional means of sustenance during hard years. Sometimes the language is very “King James” in nature, but oh so profound! What I read this morning really moved me.

When a shipwright builds a vessel, does he build it to keep it in the stocks? Nay, he builds it for the sea and the storm. When he was making it, he thought of tempests and hurricanes; if he did not, he was a poor shipbuilder.

When God made thee a believer, He meant to try thee; and when He gave thee promises, and bade thee trust them, He gave such promises as are suitable for times of tempest and tossing. Dost thou think that God makes shams like some that have made belts for swimming, which were good to exhibit in a shop, but of no use in the sea? In His lifebelts, you may swim a thousand Atlantics upon them, and there will be no fear of your sinking. His word of promise is meant to be tried and proved.

There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for His people to make a show-thing of Him, and not to use Him. He loves to be employed by us. Covenant blessings are not meant to be looked at only, but to be appropriated…O Man, I beseech you do not treat God’s promises as if they were curiosities for a museum; but use them…Trust the Lord whenever your time of need comes on.

Don’t you love that? Sometimes I think that in the name of reverence, we DO treat God and His promises like museum curiosities. I love the language here…”use”, “employed”, “tried”, “proved”. It tells us that these promises are tools to be put to work. God wants to get His hands dirty for us. He wants us to USE Him and STAND on Him. Through His promises, He calls us to step to the other side of the velvet rope to a hands-on experience, an experience we can trust because His promises were made to withstand the worst tempest.

“We were also given absolutely terrific promises…tickets to participation in the life of God.” 2 Peter 1:4 The Message