Standing on the Promises

Firm Footing

Your promises have been thoroughly tested, and your servant loves them. Psalm 119:140

Our house is situated on a hillside. Therefore, standing on level ground anywhere on the property is almost impossible. Every time I walk down to the mailbox or out into the garden, I have to pay attention to where I place my feet. Everything from pruning a tree to maneuvering garbage cans is complicated by a lack of firm, level footing.

Firm footing is also important in our spiritual lives. Financial trouble, health issues, and family conflicts can make us lose our balance. Hymn writer Russell Kelso Carter struggled with both faith and health issues. According to one biographer, when Carter was 30 years old, he asked God to “give him everything from the Bible,” including a stronger faith and physical healing for his weak heart.* Although he continued to suffer from physical and mental ailments, he lived 49 more years and wrote at least 68 hymns.

One of Carter’s most well known hymns is “Standing on the Promises of God.” Through his difficulties, he learned that God worked through both medicine and prayer. He also realized there was only one patch of level ground on which he could build his faith and withstand all life’s troubles:

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises I cannot fall,
Listening every moment to the Spirit’s call
Resting in my Savior as my all in all,
Standing on the promises of God.

The Bible contains thousands of God’s promises. Two that have provided firm footing for me during unstable times are “never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” and “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Hebrews 13:5 and Jeremiah 31:3).

During the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He declared, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). The greatest promise of all is the one Jesus spoke in John 6:40–“He who believes on [me] shall have eternal life.”

Do you feel as though you are standing on unlevel, precarious ground today? Find firm footing for your faith on the sure foundation of God’s promises.


Read Psalm 145. David says, “The LORD is faithful to all his promises” in verse 13. Make a list of the promises given in this psalm. Which are most meaningful to you?

Read John 16:16-33. What promises did Jesus give the disciples before He was arrested? How well did they remember them during the crisis that followed? What can we learn from their experience?

The last promise in the Bible is recorded in Revelation 22:20. In what ways does that promise comfort you? In what ways does it challenge you?

To read all the stanzas of “Standing on the Promises,” go to

Denise K. Loock



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