Happy New Year! Welcome to Facets of Faith and our first series of 2018, Do You Believe God’s Promises─Really? As we talked about how we wanted to kick this year off, we felt digging into how well rooted we are in the belief of God’s promises was a great place to start. The greater our belief in God’s promises, the greater each of us will walk out 2018 to all its fullest potential. That is our prayer for every reader of our series, that she would know fully who she is and how much God has planned for her… this year and beyond!
My (Tracy’s) guess is we can all recall instances where someone made us a promise, but didn’t keep it. A broken promise is like ceramic pottery dropped to the floor, pieces scattered in need of clean up.
Betrayal is messy.
Not always is there ill intent when a person’s word is broken. Perhaps they had good intentions, but something got in the way of fulfilling their commitment.
Sometimes, it really is that a person’s word may not mean much. More than the words they utter, behaviors tell us better what to believe. As the old saying goes, sometimes “proof is in the pudding”.
Even minor infractions if left unattended layer and diminish the sparkling potential of two people coming together in friendship, matrimony, or some other special connection.
Keeping our promises really matters. But we humans aren’t always the greatest at doing what matters most.
According to the American Psychological Association, the U.S. divorce rate is between 40 – 50%.(1) That’s a high rate of broken promises! The statistic is merely one body of evidence that makes it easier for us to understand why we may find it difficult to believe in promises.
But it is imperative we do.
God gives promises to us that aren’t like the ones we humans give one another. God’s promises to us are unbreakable. Unshakable.
Christ is the Cornerstone that holds up strong evidence God loves us and keeps His promises. Prophecy pointed to Jesus long before His birth. Prophecy the ultimate Promise brought to life when Mary, a virgin, birthed our long-promised Messiah. God the Father spoke through the prophets of a Savior. He kept His word and sent His Son! Nail-scarred hands strong evidence God isn’t like us. At all! God gives us proof He keeps His promises.
“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will not do?
Or has He spoken, and will not make it good?”
─Numbers 23:19 NKJV
We are made in God’s image, not the other way around. God is not a man, that He should lie.
God is faithful. He keeps His word. Has He spoken, and will not make it good?
The HCSB version says it this way, Does He speak and not act, or promise and not fulfill?
How would you answer that question?
Do I always believe God’s promises – really?
My response? Not really. Not 100% of the time.
With God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
But what if I don’t see a way how? Guess that puts me between a rock and a hard place.
But what if I’ve been believing that for a long, long, long time? Guess I’m pressed up against the wall there too.
Sometimes, if I am looking at my circumstances rather than keeping my eyes fixed on the Lord, I can waiver in my belief. I can worry, wonder, and let fear inhibit my actions, because I temporarily “forgot” God’s faithfulness.
It’s like I’ve acquired spiritual amnesia and misplaced every good promise God has already brought to fruition – not to mention all the amazing promises still on the horizon.
But in His faithfulness, He brings me back to His promises and reminds me afresh.
A really great place to start is in the beginning where He and I (and you too if you’ve been saved) first met.
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.─Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
If I agree with the idea of faith (and I do), it’s crucial I believe in God’s promises. Belief is all that is required for entry into God’s kingdom. Belief is where we all begin as Children of God. It makes sense that the very idea of belief would be warred against by the enemy. It’s foundational to our faith.
If we can believe in a virgin birth (Luke 2), if we can believe in talking donkeys used to accomplish God’s plan (Numbers 22), if we can believe Daniel didn’t get eaten by a lion (Daniel 6), we can believe God’s promises for us.
As an aside, can I say I love that God leaves these far-fetched examples in Scripture which make it all the more believable in my opinion. Because we know if you or I were writing it, we’d probably edit out all the elements that seemed a little unusual. That furnace thing (Daniel 3)? No one will believe it. Better remove it. Nope. God left all that great stuff in for us to see─really, ALL things are possible with God.
Let’s talk about three reasons it’s imperative we believe God’s promises, really.
As believers, we access God’s power through His promises. When we pray and say God’s words, we have a powerful weapon to disarm the enemy. Even Jesus Himself used the Word to defeat Satan (Luke 4). That should definitely lead us to believe in the power of speaking promises to silence the enemy. And of course the enemy wouldn’t want us to believe we have any power. He’d love nothing more than for us to doubt God keeps His promises. That’s why it’s crucial we believe by faith.
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.─Luke 10:19 NKJV
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.─Romans 15:13 NKJV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.─2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
In addition to power, God’s promises remind us who we are in relation to Him. We are part of God’s kingdom once we state by faith our belief in Christ. Our position cannot be taken away. We are sealed as an heir.
One of the most common areas of attack is against our identity. If we doubt who we are and the position we hold in Christ, we are less likely to walk in the power and authority God gave us.
His promises remind us whose we are. When we have assurance of our position as heirs and children of God (to name just a few), we walk a little taller. And when we do, the world takes a bit more notice that something is different about us. We know who we are and are able to walk through life with confidence.
Our identity is key to achieving anything great – including walking in peace, love, and joy. God left us His promises to remind us we are His. And that changes everything.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13 NKJV
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 created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.─Romans 8:38-39 NKJV
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:─John 1:12 NKJV
When we believe God’s promises─really, we start to believe we can do something great because of them. The hardest, most frightening things God has ever asked me to participate in would never have happened if I hadn’t believed His promises. I am pretty well aware of my personal limitations, but I’m not in this world by myself and in my own power. Neither are you.
The more we access God’s power and the more we know our position as a child of God, the more we are able to access our God-given potential. He wants us to do great things with Him. He’s prepared them ahead of time for us.
There’s a lot this world needs, not the least of which is love.
God has given us all gifts. Depending on your current level of self-esteem, you may or may not believe you have gifts or that yours are as valuable as someone else’s.
Everyone’s gifts have merit!
God made you as His masterpiece. He has something very special planned just for you. No one else can do it. I don’t know what that is, but my prayer is that God shows you. Your contribution is far too important!
No matter what your age, it’s never too late as long as you are still alive. Age doesn’t disqualify anyone. You’re not too young, nor are you too old to be used by God. Scripture leaves us with all kinds of examples of people being used for God’s purposes from young to old—Timothy to Abraham, Mary to Elizabeth. The heart matters. Not the hours you’ve been alive on earth.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 NKJV
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ─Ephesians 3:20-21 NKJV
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”─Matthew 19:26 NKJV
Do you believe God’s promises─really?
Our answer to that question greatly impacts how much power, position and potential we walk in. How much power, position, and potential do you desire for your life and the lives of those you love?
You are blessed because you believed what the Lord said to you would really happen.─ Luke 1:45 ICB
I pray you receive all of God’s blessings as you believe Him and His promises, just the way He said they’d happen. In Jesus’ name, amen!
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1 Marriage & divorce. (n.d.). Retrieved January 02, 2018, from http://www.apa.org/topics/divorce/