Chapter 11 Promises of God
God uses either fear or love to motivate us. It is out of his awesome love that he pours out his precious promises to us. It is God who desires to make and keep his promises to us and he constantly reminds us of to treasure them.
Although it took many years of crying, struggling and barely hanging on to my faith, it was the promises of God that kept me comforted during my darkest moments. In his timing, God will always keep his Word. He has proven himself to be faithful to me over the years. (Phil. 1:6)
There are so many promises of God that I can’t list them all in this book. Eternal life and the forgiveness of sins are the two most significant promises that God has made to those who believe. As long as we “Do” the faith we will receive his promises. If we “believe” and “confess” Christ to be our God and savior and “live” a life that reflects our faith, we will inherit the kingdom of God. In this chapter, I will elaborate on the key elements involved in discovering, receiving and experiencing God’s promises, as well as share with you a few of my favorite promises from God.
Discovering the Promises of God:
God has many wonderful promises to give us, more than we could ever imagine. Not only do we have a promise of eternal life, but we have many wonderful promises to benefit from right now on earth. The first time that I heard about God making promises to us, I didn’t know what to think about it. After many years, I have finally come to understand that not only does he make promises to us, but he actually keeps them as well.
If we don’t experience the amazing promises of God in our lives, it is because of our own limitations. Let’s look at some of the reasons why this may happen. There are two main problems that we all face when it comes to experiencing God’s promises: our own personal ignorance and a lack of strong faith.
If we don’t know what the promises of God are, how can we expect to receive them? We can’t have what we don’t know about. We could not even receive eternal life until we first learned about it through hearing the Gospel of Christ. Think about a buried treasure on an island for a moment. No matter what it’s value might be, it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. That is exactly how it is with the promises of God. We must first learn and discover what they are before we can receive them. Then we must apply our faith to them in a very practical way.
If we are going to discover the awesome promises of God it is very important that we diligently seek after them. The more eager and diligent we search for God’s awesome treasures, the more he will reveal them to us. Jesus tells us to seek after the things of God first, before we seek the things of this world. Everything that I learn about God and his Kingdom comes from two sources: The Bible and my personal relationship with God. (Matt. 6:33)
Study the Bible:
If we want to know what God has to say, we need to go directly to him ourselves. One way to do this is to read and study the ancient scriptures. We can find all of God’s promises in the Holy Bible, as well as his instructions on how to receive them. The more we search the scriptures the more God will reveal his truth to us. He promises to satisfy those who are hungry for his Word. (Jer. 12:13, Matt. 5:6)
Develop a close relationship with God:
Another way to discover the promises of God is to spend quality time with him. One very good method of spending time with God is to talk to him. Personal prayer time is essential if we are going to strengthen our relationship with God. The better we know God the more wisdom, knowledge and understanding he grants us. God draws near to those who draw near to him, so it is always beneficial to supplement our Bible study with fervent prayer time.
It is very effective to Pray and read the Bible together. Praying adds depth to my Bible studies. We should always pray when we read the Bible because this demonstrates our desire to involve God in every aspect of our lives. In fact, that is why the Bible instructs us to pray all the time. (1 Thess. 5:19) He wants to be involved in all the details of our lives, especially when we are learning about his Word. By studying his Word and always praying, we will strengthen our relationship with God, increase our faith and receive the promises of God more efficiently.
Besides ignorance, another problem that keeps us from receiving the promises of God is inadequate faith. All of God’s promises are free, but without strong faith we will never be able to receive them. Faith is the only way to please God and it’s how we receive all the promises that he offers us. So after we discover the promises of God by diligently seeking them, through reading, studying and praying, we must mix our new found knowledge with strong faith. If we don’t believe what we discover, then we will not receive or experience anything of value. (Heb. 11:6)
Many people never receive God’s awesome treasures because they either can not, will not, or do not believe in them. God expects us to trust and believe everything that he says, just like little children believe their parents. If we do not believe what God says, then we are wasting our time seeking after his promises. All of our studying, reading and praying is useless if we do not apply faith to what we discover.
The Law of Faith is universal. (Rom. 3:27) We can only receive the things that we have the capacity to believe in. Jesus told the man, “If you can believe, it will be done unto you.” (Mark 9:23-24) The man recognized his inability to believe, so he asked Jesus to help him with his unbelief. Go study this passage closely. It is amazing to know that even in our struggle to have faith, God is willing to help us, if we ask him. I must admit, I also struggle with challenges in my faith sometimes.
God uses the impossible things in our lives to show us his strength and power. We should expect storms to arise in our lives, because God is using them to test our faith, to see if we will trust and believe in his promises. He is stretching our faith and shaping us into new creatures by deliberately putting challenges in our lives. If we are weak, let’s remember to ask him to help us. Then God will supernaturally increase our faith, causing us to believe where we could not before.
Hard to Believe:
Some of God’s promises are easy to believe, while others seem impossible. For instance, it is becoming easier for me to believe that I will never get sick, but I am far from having enough faith to walk on water. Even though I don’t have enough faith for some things in my life, I know it is pleasing to God that I try to believe everything he tells me, even if I can‘t yet.
Believing the impossible is exactly what our faith is all about. Jesus was born of a virgin and rose from the grave. How much more impossible is that, yet we still believe it. That is why we must continue to grow in our faith, so that we can fully grasp and receive all the beautiful promises of God, no matter how impossible they may seem at the present time.
After we have learned about God’s promises and begin to put our faith in them, we still have a few challenges that could interfere with fully experiencing them. A negative attitude, lack of patience and double mindedness can become serious problems if we allow them to control us.
There is power in our words and they can bring life or death into our lives. In fact, God’s Word is described as a sharp double edged sword. (Heb. 4:12) We can use our words for building up or tearing down our lives. Many times we unwittingly sabotage our ourselves by the negative things we say. We must be very careful that we don’t disagree with the Word of God. If God promises that we can do something, then we should only speak words that agree with him, even if we do not currently believe it yet. Speaking God’s promises is a powerful way to build up our faith when it is weak.
For instance, God has promised me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13) If I really believe that, then I should never doubt that I can overcome drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and profanity. I should never say things like: I can’t quit smoking, or I always want a cigarette. It doesn’t matter what we “see” or how many times we fail. We have to speak the word of God’s promise out of our mouths, if we are ever going ever benefit from them.
If we are having trouble believing in a particular promise of God, we should be very careful not to verbalize it. Instead, we should ask him to help us with our unbelief and then control our tongue while we wait. If we do speak negative words against what the Bible teaches, then we will be setting up a permanent trap for ourselves. We will be fulfilling our own negative words of unbelief, thereby making it impossible to ever experience God’s promises. It is better to keep our mouths shut, pray and wait for God to increase our weak faith, than to destroy any chance we have to be set free and overcome these issues. Pray this: “Help me with my unbelief, Lord”
Lack of Patience:
After we have learned and believed in a promise of God, we will just have to wait for him to manifest them in our lives. This is possibly one of the most serious mistakes that we make: Losing our patience. This will only assure us that we fail to receive God’s promises. We must always be PATIENT or we will never grow in our relationship with God. God is constantly making us wait for him. He is in the business of refining us with fiery tests and trials. The Bible tells us that we are made perfect through patience. I am finally starting to understand this in my life, although I am far from mastering it yet.(1 Peter 1:7; 1 peter 5:10; James 1:4)
This has always been a serious problem in my life. Double-mindedness is the inability to stay focused on a particular goal or mission. Many times I would set a goal or start a new project with fiery passion, only to let if fade as soon as my mood would change. Double mindedness is the inability to make long lasting commitments, whereby one constantly wavers back and forth.
Staying focused is a big challenge in my life, but God is definitely helping me with this weakness. I understand that if I do not stay focused on God’s Word that I will eventually fall away again. This has happened so many times in my life that I am keenly aware and constantly on guard so that it doesn’t happen. If I am ever going to experience God’s promises, I have to hold onto what he has promised me without wavering back and forth. I can’t keep changing my mind and expect God to deliver his promises. (James 1:8)
Some of my favorite promises:
I am going to share a more exhaustive list of scriptures at the end of this book, but here are a few of my favorite promises of God. Remember, if you can believe in these promises, they are just as much for you as for me. In fact, whosoever can believe in them will receive them.
2 Peter 1:3-10, “According to his divine power God has given unto us everything we need for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him.” Read the whole passage. Not only is there a promise that God will give us everything we need, but if we are increasing in the spiritual qualities of God, we will never stumble. This may be hard for you to believe right now, but I am stretching my faith for this one. I do not want to stumble back into drugs again, so I am making myself believe this. I am praying that God will help me with my unbelief.
Phil. 1:6, “God is faithful to perform in me what he has started.” This literally saved me from giving up during the darkest moments of life. I knew that God touched me once in my life and that I had some kind of relationship with him, so I put all my faith in this promise. I knew that he would eventually finish his work in me. I cried many nights to God, thanking him for saving me, even though I was still in bondage to drugs at the time. I would cry out, “finish in me what you started, LORD; you promised me.” It took years, but God finally kept his word, but he saved me, just like he promised. Wow.
Mark 9:23-24, Jesus said unto him, “If you can believe, all things are possible.” And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help me with my unbelief.” This is awesome to know that we can have anything that we can believe for. It encourages me to make myself stretch my faith towards God. It is also amazing to me that God, himself, will help us in our weak faith, if we ask him.
James 4:7, Submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you. I love this promise because I know that the Devil can not touch me, and that he must flee from me when I resist him. Wow. I refuse to be pushed around by this evil angel.
Rom. 8:38-39, For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The greatest promise of God is eternal life through Christ. If we fail to receive all the other promises of God we must be sure to grab a hold of this one.
John 17:3, And this is life eternal, that they might know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
John 20:31, Believing that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ; and by believing you might have eternal life in his name.
In conclusion, if we can believe in God’s promises we can have them. We just need to diligently seek and apply them to our lives with faith. If we are having trouble believing in them, then let’s ask God to help us with our weak faith, instead of speaking negatively against God. Build up a personal treasure of God’s promises for yourself to live by and watch your life become transformed by the power of God right before your very eyes.
God’s promises are designed to lead us closer to him, but unfortunately, sometimes we go in the opposite direction and get into trouble. Next, I will discuss the warnings and fear of the Lord, which is crucial to guiding and protecting us from falling away from God.