Tag Archives: God’s promises

Reality Check

All of my life I felt called into ministry, but I kept putting it off until later. I figured I’d do my own thing first and then follow my calling. That was working until I got a divorce. I was devastated because I grew up in a denomination that at the time would not allow divorced people to be in ministry. I was discussing my plight with a friend one day about how I had waited too long to fulfill my calling. He almost chuckled and then said, “Do you really think that man can revoke God’s calling on your life?” It was the slap I needed to bring me back into reality.

God has numbered each of our days before we were born. He knows our future and the choices we will make. So when He makes a promise to us, He does so with full knowledge of the mistakes we’re going to make. He created each of us with a purpose to fulfill that only we can fulfill. He knows the bumps in the road we’re going to face, the sins we’re going to commit and the set backs we’re going to have when he gives purpose to our lives. Those things don’t revoke your purpose. They actually validate it and give your life the depth needed to reach people you otherwise couldn’t.

Psalm 138:8 says, “You keep every promise you’ve ever made to me! Since your love for me is constant and endless, I ask you, Lord, to finish every good thing that you’ve begun in me!” (TPT) God has not revoked your calling, nor will He walk away from the promises He made to you based on what you’ve done or been through. He will be faithful to complete it. He has not stopped loving you, and He still has a plan. Any mistake you’ve made has not nullified your calling or revoked any promises. Seek forgiveness if you haven’t already, and ask God to finish what He started in you.

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The Promise Of Restoration

In the history of the world, there has only been one nation that has been forced out of their land, spread all over the world and then returned to being a nation again. On May 14, 1948, after nearly being exiled for 2,000 years, Israel became a nation once again returning to their land. Somehow they were able to maintain their culture and language throughout that long period. Upon returning, they began agricultural work. The people who were living in the land laughed at them. A hundred years earlier, Mark Twain passed through the land and described it as am uninhabitable, desolate wasteland. Today, it is an agricultural wonderland.

The prophesies of the Old Testament are being fulfilled to this day and are obvious as you drive through the country. The biggest has to be the return of the exiles. No matter how far you feel from God’s promises being fulfilled in your life, He can still make them happen. No matter how desolate your life appears at the moment, God can still create new growth in you. He specializes in doing the impossible and proves it every day. Though you may be separated from where you want to be, living in exile from your dreams, God can still bring you back into your Promised Land.

Here are some Bible verses about God’s promises of Israel being returned from exile.

1. If you and your descendants will turn back to the Lord and with all your heart obey his commands that I am giving you today, then the Lord your God will have mercy on you. He will bring you back from the nations where he has scattered you, and he will make you prosperous again. Even if you are scattered to the farthest corners of the earth, the Lord your God will gather you together and bring you back, so that you may again take possession of the land where your ancestors once lived. And he will make you more prosperous and more numerous than your ancestors ever were.

Deuteronomy 30:2-5 GNT

2. The exiles of Israel will return to their land and occupy the Phoenician coast as far north as Zarephath. The captives from Jerusalem exiled in the north will return home and resettle the towns of the Negev.

Obadiah 1:20 NLT

3. So fear no more, Jacob, dear servant. Don’t despair, Israel. Look up! I’ll save you out of faraway places, I’ll bring your children back from exile. Jacob will come back and find life good, safe and secure. I’ll be with you. I’ll save you.

Jeremiah 30:10 MSG

4. The Lord is restoring Jerusalem; he is bringing back the exiles.

Psalm 147:2 GNT

5. Also I shall bring back the exiles of My people Israel, And they will rebuild the deserted and ruined cities and inhabit them: They will also plant vineyards and drink their wine, And make gardens and eat their fruit.

AMOS 9:14 AMP

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Times Of Refreshing

In today’s fast paced world where we are having to do more with less, it’s easy to become fatigued and tired. Before the internet and technology as we know it, there weren’t Starbucks on every corner. Technology has improved our lives no doubt, but it has also made us work more than ever. The amount of information we consume also can make us feel like we need a brain break. What we need is a refreshing in our body, mind and spirit. The refreshing that God offers does just that. It reinvigorates us and helps us to be able to continue doing the things that God has called us to no matter what life has brought against us.

Like a glass of ice cold water on a hot day, God wants to bring refreshing times to us no matter what we are going through. His Word promises that if we will go to Him when we are weary and tired, He will refresh us. Like any promise in the Bible, we must do our part first. We need to take time to be still and quiet in His presence. We need to give up the heavy burdens we’re carrying and give them to Him. We need to spend time in His Word and to repent of any sin in our lives, then He will give us times of refreshing that will give us what we need to make it through life and be the light He has called us to be.

Here are some Bible verses on how God promises to refresh us.

1. The law of the LORD is perfect (flawless), restoring and refreshing the soul; The statutes of the LORD are reliable and trustworthy, making wise the simple.

PSALMS 19:7 AMP

2. And now you must repent and turn back to God so that your sins will be removed, and so that times of refreshing will stream from the Lord’s presence.

Acts 3:19 TPT

3. What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord, who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. When they walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of refreshing springs. The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.

Psalms 84:5-6 NLT

4. Now, Lord, do it again! Restore us to our former glory! May streams of your refreshing flow over us until our dry hearts are drenched again.

Psalms 126:4 TPT

5. Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].

MATTHEW 11:28 AMP

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Possessing The Promises

How do you react when God doesn’t answer right away and you’re in desperate need for Him to answer? Do you take the Abraham approach and try to be the answer yourself? I know that’s what I’m tempted to do. Waiting on God and His timing is very difficult. He loves to wait until the last minute. Even though I know how He operates, I still try to preempt Him just in case this one time He doesn’t show up. The longer I have to wait for Him to intervene, the smaller my faith seems to get. I think that’s just our human nature, but I also think that’s what God is trying to get us to fight against.

Like a parent teaching their kid to ride a bike, there are times God lets go and it feels like He’s no where near you as you come crashing down. In that process, we learn how to trust Him, how to get back up and how to ride. God uses process to get us to the promise. You and I must learn to be patient and to trust His process. Patience is the key. We must learn to let God do what He needs to do in our lives so He can produce what He needs to produce. If you’re in that place where you’re waiting, fight impatience. God is at work in ways you can not see. It takes time and endurance to get us to the greatest promises.

Here are some verses on waiting for God.

1. I waited and waited and waited some more, patiently, knowing God would come through for me. Then, at last, he bent down and listened to my cry.

Psalms 40:1 TPT

2. Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!

Psalms 27:14 TPT

3. Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good; impatience will get you into trouble.

Proverbs 19:2 GNT

4. So don’t be impatient for the Lord to act; keep moving forward steadily in his ways, and he will exalt you at the right time. And when he does, you will possess every promise, including your full inheritance. You’ll watch with your own eyes and see the wicked lose everything.

Psalms 37:34 TPT

5. But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope.

Romans 5:3-4 TPT

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Grace, Mercy & Peace

I was speaking to someone recently about the old computer operating system DOS. I remember as a kid learning how to write programs for DOS. We were taught to increase each command line by 10 so if you needed to add a line of programming later, you had the room. Another thing they taught us is the phrase, “If this, then that.” It was a way to tell the computer if the user does this, then I want you to skip to another line and run the program from there. It was all about cause and consequence.

The Bible is full of “if this, then that” type phrases. In John 15:7 Jesus said, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you then you can ask whatever you will.” II Chronicles 7:14, “If my people will humbled selves and pray, then I will hear from Heaven and heal their land.” These are just a couple of examples. God puts conditions on many promises that require an action on our part first in order to activate them just like in the old DOS programming. If we don’t do the first part, then the next part is skipped.

Another conditional promise is found in 2 John 1:3. It says, “Grace, mercy and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ – the Son of the Father – will continue to be with us who live in truth and love” (NLT). If we will continue to live in truth and love we will receive grace, mercy and peace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor which affords joy, delight and pleasure according to the Blue Letter Bible. The favor of God alone is enough, but John added in (through his use of the word grace) that we would also get joy, delight and pleasure by living in truth and love.

Next, he said we would get mercy. One of the definitions of mercy is to have the providence of God. That means that God will order your steps and guide your future. He won’t just let you wander. Your life will be filled with purpose which leads to the last promise of peace. When we live in love and truth, we will also get peace in our hearts, in our minds and in our lives. God wants to give us these three blessings if we will simply live in truth and love.

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Trusting God’s Word

One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to keep trusting in God’s Word while we wait for Him to answer us according to it. To keep believing when our circumstances don’t change or to keep holding on when things seem to get worse is what faith is. To me, it’s always been about perspective. Can I look through the mountain that’s right in front of me to see God, even though it is high and full of things I can see with my own eyes? Is my faith strong enough to believe what God says more than what doctors say? More than what my situation says? More than the facts say? To me, these are the hardest times to activate my faith, but they’re the times I need it the most.

Our examples of trusting God when circumstances say otherwise are some of the greatest heroes in the Bible. Joseph held onto the dream God gave him for 14 years, even while he sat in prison. David waited 15 years to be king, but he held onto God’s promise even while King Saul was chasing him and he was living in caves. Abraham held onto God’s promise of having a child for 25 years, but he held onto God’s promise even as he and Sarah became too old to have kids. Finally, Noah kept building the ark for more than a century without a drop of rain falling during that time.

These men were as human as you and I. They faced doubts, criticism and fear as they waited, but they trusted in God’s Word above all else. Psalm 130:5 says, “I wait eagerly for the Lord ‘s help, and in his word I trust” (GNT). I don’t know what your present situation is telling you right now, but I know you need to trust what God said more. Keep holding on to His Word and trust it no matter how long He takes, how dark your prison is or how real the facts seem. God’s truth is greater than man’s facts. He is not bound by our laws for He created them. If you’re struggling to keep believing, put more of God’s Word in you. Speak it out loud over and over until it saturates every part of you and you trust it more than anything.

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Waiting For God’s Promise

Waiting on God to fulfill His promise can be like waiting to open a present at Christmas. We see it there with our name on it. It is ours, but we have to wait. Every day you see it there. You’re ready to open it and use it, but the time has not come. There is always a waiting period from the time you are promised something and the time that you get it. How you spend that time matters.

There are 3 lessons we can learn from Abraham and Joseph while waiting on God to fulfill His promise to you.

1. Don’t preempt God

When God spoke to Abraham and promised him a son, he was about 85 years old.He could not see how God would do what he said he would do. He decided to intervene on God’s behalf and make the promise come true. He ruined a relationship and started a feud that goes on to this day.

When God makes a promise, our desire is to see it come to pass immediately. Often we are the ones who are unprepared or ready at the time a promise is given. We think we are, so when it delays, we try to step in. God does not need your help to bring about what He has promised. He needs you to prepare to receive it.

2. Bad things may still happen to you

Joseph received a dream that everyone, including his brothers and parents, would bow down to him. Being young and foolish, he had no problem telling others what God had intended to be just for him at the time. While he waited on God’s promise, he was beaten by his brothers, sold as a slave, taken to a foreign land against his will, worked as a slave, was wrongly accused, thrown in jail and forgotten about.

I’m sure it was difficult to trust God to fulfill His promise in any of those situations. You never read of Joseph complaining or crying out “why me, God”. The bible simply says that in each instance, he worked. In working, he found favor with those around him. God used those situations to prepare him and to get him in place for the promise. You may not like or understand what is happening to you in the waiting, but if you trust God and work for Him, He will fulfill it in His time.

3. Have patience

This is easier said than done. Abraham waited 15 years before God fulfilled his promise of having a son. He just thought he was too old at 85! For Joseph, it was 13 years before he interpreted pharaoh’s dream. It was at least more than 7 years after that before his brothers came and bowed down before him. I’m not saying you will have to wait 15 or 20 years for God to fulfill his promise to you, but it could.

We want God to act in our time. We want Him to fulfill His promise when we think we are ready, not when He thinks we’re ready. Patience is tough. Waiting is hard. God may show you the end result now, but wants you to take one step at a time. He may not show you the step after that until you take this one.

What step has God called you to take right now to move towards the fulfillment of His promise? Are you willing to trust Him and His timing? Take each step one at a time. Don’t preempt God. Understand that things may happen between now and the time of fulfillment. They are there to prepare you and to place you. Above all, have patience as He works to bring it about. He keeps His promises.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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