A promise from God may very instructively be compared to a check. It is given to the believer with the view of bestowing upon him some good thing. He is to take the promise, and sign it with his own name by personally receiving it as true. He is by faith to accept it as his own. He goes further, and believes that he has the blessing in having the sure promise of it and therefore he puts his name to it to testify to the receipt of the blessing.
This done, he must believingly present the promise to the Lord, as a man presents a check at the counter of the bank. He must plead it by prayer, expecting to have it fulfilled. If he has come to Heaven's Bank at the right date, he will receive the promised amount at once. If the date should happen to be further on, he must patiently wait until its arrival; but meanwhile he may count the promise as money, for the Bank is sure to pay when the due time arrives.
Some fail to place the endorsement of faith upon the check, and so they get nothing; others are slack in presenting it, and these also receive nothing. This is not the fault of the promise, but of those who do not act with it in a common-sense, business-like manner.
God has given no pledge which He will not redeem, and encouraged no hope which He will not fulfill. The sight of the promises themselves is good for the eyes of faith: the more we study the words of grace, the more grace we derive from the words. I believe all of God's promises, but many of them I have personally tried and proven. I have seen that they are true, for they have been fulfilled to me.
I have endured tribulation from many sides. Sharp bodily pain succeeded mental depression, and this was accompanied both by bereavement and affliction in the person of one as dear as life. Never were the promises of Jehovah so precious to me as at this hour. Some of them I never understood until now; I had not reached the date at which they matured, for I was not myself mature enough to perceive their meaning.
How much more wonderful is the Bible to me now than it was a few months ago! In obeying the Lord, I have not received new promises; but the result to me is much the same, for the old ones have opened up to me with richer stores.
My brethren, God is good. He will not forsake you: He will bear you through. There is a promise prepared for your present emergencies; and if you will believe and plead it at the mercy-seat through Jesus Christ, you shall see the hand of the Lord stretched out to help you. Everything else will fail, but His word never will. He has been so faithful to me in countless instances that I must encourage you to trust Him too.
Condensed from Faith's Checkbook by C.H. Spurgeon
"God does not promise a smooth flight, but He does promise a safe landing." —Unknown
"God's promises can never be broken by leaning on them." —Howard Hendricks