His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises (2 Peter 1:3–4a, esv).
Precious is not a kindergarten word. When five-year-olds get expressive, they use words like fast, cool, or fun. But with age we realize some things are precious, a description conveying true worth. In the apostle Peter’s eyes, what was precious? God’s promises.
Although in the Gospels Peter tended to be impulsive and sometimes foolish, when we meet him again 35 years later in 2 Peter, he has grown slower, softer, and quieter. His writing exudes hard-learned wisdom. By then he knew what was truly valuable. And it came at the highest price—just a few weeks after Peter wrote this final letter, he gave up his life for Jesus Christ.
Over decades of following Jesus, Peter learned a lot about what holds the greatest value in this world and in our faith. He wrote of “the precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19) and described our faith as precious. Throughout his letters, he called believers precious living stones, referred to Jesus as a precious cornerstone, and told of God’s precious promises.
Recognizing what is truly precious takes time and close attention. Something doesn’t become precious to you until you’ve grasped the deep worth of what it can do. And nothing can do for us what God’s promises can: lead us through the darkest night, carry us through the longest day, and sustain us through the deepest valley. God’s precious promises should be our most valued possession.
When Peter described God’s promises this way, he drew on personal experience. He had discovered firsthand that clinging to what God has said is the best way forward through dark times.
When we wonder, Where’s this going? Where will I end up? How will my future look? Why do things keep getting worse? God’s promises can anchor our souls. We don’t know how things will play out so we doubt, worry, and despair. If only we could see for certain how this trial would end, we would feel reassured. But we don’t, and we agonize while we wait.
So we must review God’s precious promises all the time. Our faith rests entirely on what He has done and said He will do—and God has never failed to do what He’s said. He can’t lie, and He can’t forget. He will deliver on time, all the time.
God doesn’t want you to view life through the lens of what you see and be overcome by fear. Your circumstances don’t change His truth. What you saw clearly in the light hasn’t changed because your valley is dark.
The hardest moment of hanging on is the gap between believing a promise of God and receiving its fulfillment. In the interim, we must walk by faith. During dark, hard times of waiting, hold tight to God’s precious promises.
God, this Christian life would seem easier if the time was short between my asking and Your answering. But that’s not the way You work. Instead You offer precious promises, true and sure. Thank You that You will never leave me nor fail me. Thank You that You’ve given me promises to cling to, and that You will always do what You’ve said You will do. I choose to believe; help my unbelief. In the name of Your Son, who is faithful and true, amen.