What is a promise from the Bible? In God’s word a promise is a declaration that one will do a particular thing and it will happen. In the New Testament there are 520 promises from God to each of us. Hebrews 13:8 promises that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. To provide a promise, the answer must be yes and amen: 2 Corinthians 1:20. Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ is stated in 2 Corinthians 2:1. That is a perfect statement and promise for today … peace and grace.
My wife and I have been on missionary trips to El Salvador since 2006. The starting point of our trips was to build schools and homes. In addition, what we did was make friends. When leaving after our first trip, I told my new friends I would be back. The people we met said, “Americans never come back.” Adora, my wife, and I chose to be different, and we returned every year to help build or supply needs of the churches and our friends.
On our last trip, I asked for permission to teach a class on healing and miracles at our home church in El Salvador. So, every day for one week I had this great opportunity. My translator was a 20-year-old college student. Her knowledge of the Bible and promises was non-existent. She did not believe or not believe. Each day as I taught she repeated my words and the scriptures from the Bible to our class. By the third day of classes, she was teaching the class! When questions were asked, she gave and answered without any input from me. So, finally I said, what is going on? She just said, “I am telling them what the Bible and you would say.” She had become a believer by repeating the words into her spirit. She believed what she was saying about Jesus healing the sick. The word was in her heart.
During the week we went to a service that was outdoors. We watched and listened to the pastor pray for the sick and for needs. The crowd was large, and I noticed a man in a wheelchair who was prayed for. The man had been paralyzed in a medical operation. He had been in this condition for five years and no longer could communicate or do anything physical.
As the service continued, I became restless. I went inside the church building and to my amazement there was the paraplegic. A boldness came over me and I went over to him. I had no purpose, I had never prayed for anyone with his conditions. I laid my hands on him and prayed for life, healing & miracles according to John 6:63. Nothing happened. Then my translator came over and spoke life, healing, and miracles into him in Spanish. He opened his eyes and looked at me. I again, spoke life, healing, and miracles into his spirit and it was in Spanish. As I began to talk to him, I uncurled his clinched fingers and rubbed his arms.
First, I raised my arms and said. “Hallelujah,” and he smiled. I kept doing his, and he started for raise his arms, then I asked him to lift his legs. Each time he tried we again spoke life, healing and miracles into his spirit. Finally, I became so excited I lifed him our of his wheelchair. My translator got on the floor and moved his feet as I tried to help him walk. We did this many times, and each time he gained confidence. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing the word of God. We opened the church doors and the outside service was still in progress. We lifted him up, and he steadying himself and with just a little help, he walked out the door, and onto the platform of the service. The crowd silenced, and then cheered as he waved to them. Colossians 1:27 says; “Christ in you, the Hope of Glory.” The moment you become born again this happens to each of us.
In the 1970s, President Jimmy Carter shared his faith by repeating; that you must be born again. To be honest, that meant nothing to me at the time, but it stayed in my mind. Scripture says: A man must be born again, or he can not see the Kingdom of God. Nothing is more important than excepting Christ into your heart and into your life. Hebrews 11:1 says that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. To be born again, is a simple heartfelt prayer:
Heavenly Father, I come to you … and your word says, whosoever shall call on the name of Jesus shall be saved. Right this moment I am calling on that name, I am asking Jesus into my heart.
John & Adora Riggs are active missionaries to El Salvador and live in Delaware.