promises, promises

Have you ever set an alarm for the morning (or five if you’re like my roommate Emily) and snoozed it so many times (literally 9 times if you’re like my roommate Emily) that you’ve compromised every small detail of getting ready? Maybe you’ve made a promise to yourself that you’re going to get up and spend a little extra time with God, or eat a healthier breakfast, or take time to go for a quick run, but you let your feelings take over when the moment comes.

Maybe you’ve made a promise to do something with or for someone else, but when the time came around to do it, you realized you had something better to do. It’s not always on purpose, and sometimes you really do have something more important come up — but how many times have you backed out on your word because of what else you might want to do or get done?

Yes, I’ve been there — too many times. And I’m sure you have, too.

Making decisions based on our emotions is never a good idea. Sometimes it works out, but I am a firm believer that prayerful and thought out decisions nearly always have a better outcome. When we make a commitment based on how we feel in the moment we made it, our decision to follow through on it will be made the same way. It’s human nature to keep our personal best interest front and center, and that’s a battle we have to continually face.

In His goodness and grace, though, our faithful and merciful God never breaks his promises. He reiterates over and over again that his promises will not be broken. He is faithful, and I for one am so incredibly grateful for that. It’s a concept that I tend to hear a lot of, but lately I have been finding myself wondering what that actually means. What does it mean that God’s promises can’t be broken? How can we know that? I think often, we don’t understand the solidity of his word because our only frame of reference is our own experience with promise making & promise breaking. Too often our word is feeble and not strong enough to completely rely on. We’ve all been made promises that were broken and the more it happens to us, the more we lack skills of trust and community.

Whenever I’ve been taught about the promises of God, I often find myself a bit lost in the message or lesson, confused about which promises were conditional (for a specific moment in time to a specific person or with stipulation to receive them) and which ones are unconditional (universally applicable to everyone). Since most of the time the scripture doesn’t say the words ‘God’s promise’ or ‘Jesus’ promise’, it can be daunting to find them. Since first hearing about promises the Lord has made to us, I’ve done a lot of studying and research about them, and I want to share today 5 of the promise I’ve found are important to know (and fully believe) in order to live our lives the way Jesus did. If you can find the time to start to memorize these and speak them over your life, they will empower you to live in the full freedom of the love of Christ.

1. When we declare verbally that Jesus is Lord, we will be saved.  

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

– Romans 10:9 –

This is the hope that is the result of faith in Jesus Christ. It’s the firm foundation of salvation in which any person who declares Jesus is Lord will receive. All we have to do is believe this to be the truth, verbally declare it, and we will be saved.

2. When we make a habit of confessing our sins, God is faithful to forgive us.

“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”

– 1 John 1:9 –

This is important to remember; asking for forgiveness is a habit. There will not come a day on earth when we are forgiven and we never have to ask for it again. We are not perfect, we will continue to make mistakes. It will get weary constantly remembering that we don’t measure up. However, it is this reminder that keeps us humble and ready to lay down our will to submit to God’s.

3. We always have a way out of temptation. 

“He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

– 1 Corinthians 10:13 –

This is an important one to remind yourself of daily. We are tempted daily but we are always given a choice. When you feel like you don’t have a choice, remember this. It is promised that he will show you a way out, all you have to do is ask. The key here is to find the things that you are tempted by and be prepared to avoid giving in to temptation.

4. We will be given the desires of our hearts.

“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”

– Psalm 37: 4-5 –

This one is a conditional promise, and it’s very important that is recognized. Let me be clear: this verse is not saying we will get everything we want. It’s reminding us that the Lord is faithful in his will for our lives. When we are seeking him, trusting him, and committing ourselves to him, our will begins to align with his; therefore we live in the freedom of God’s desires being our own. He then has the freedom to give them to us.

5. Christ will return, and after that we will be with him eternally. 

2There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” 

– John 14:2-3 –

This final promise is the other part of our hope of eternal life. This verse makes me so happy because it’s a reminder that even in our darkest and loneliest and most desperate times, we have the hope that one day we will be with Jesus, in the most honest and real and tangible way. Forever.

○○○○○○○○

There are so many more promises in Scripture, but these are a few of the ones that have really made a difference in my life. I really want to encourage you to seek out promises of God and Jesus in Scripture. Finding the promises for yourself can be one of the most strengthening and encouraging things for your faith.

Some things to remember when searching for the promises of God:

—Read – the whole passage, not just the verse. The surrounding context will tell you so much – things like whether or not it was conditional, who the audience was, why the promise was made, if it applies directly to us today.

—Remember – the promises the Lord gives us are not so that we can manipulate what we can and cannot do in our time on earth. Rather, he gives them to us so that we can begin to understand His perfect will, and to embrace the eternal purpose he has given us.

— Realize – some promises are multifold, and we have to understand that some of them have not been fulfilled yet. However, since we know God is faithful, we have full hope that he will bring them to pass.

No matter what, don’t give up. His promises are constant, and his word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11). They have been there since long before you were born, and he’s waiting for you to become aware of them. The realization will bring a freedom and joy that can only be found in him — nothing on earth will ever compare to them. The promises are right in front of you — all you have to do is find them. Happy hunting!

– Alexa

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s