Thursday, January 5, 2017

Journey Towards the Promises of God

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In following the Scriptures, I discovered that our life’s journey with God’s promises guiding our way assures us of success in attaining our vision. However, being entirely focused on moving ahead with a steadfast and wholehearted attitude is a must. The book of Hebrews described this kind attitude, “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth” (11:13, NIV). Gertrude Cramer Williams described it this way: "I think I can" are four magic words that create success; four magic words that when woven into the fiber of our human thoughts can make all the difference in the world as to whether we succeed or fail.”

Allow me to share some key ingredients on our journey towards the promises of God. First, we need clarity of vision and faith. J. Sidlow Baxter explained, “What is the difference between an obstacle and an opportunity? Our attitude toward it. Every opportunity has a difficulty, and every difficulty has an opportunity.” Job exclaimed, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (19:2, NIV). Next, adopt a sense of anticipation with confidence. Elisabeth Elliot stressed, "If you believe in a God who controls the big things, you have to believe in a God who controls the little things.  It is we, of course, to whom things look "little" or "big." When attacked by anxieties, declare like the Psalmists, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (Psalms 42:11). Finally, stand on your faith with renewed patience while waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises. Helen Keller emphasized, "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved." The book of Hebrews offered an excellent reminder when faced with such difficulties,

For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises (Hebrews 6:10-12).

Keeping our hearts and minds aligned with God’s promises with absolute confidence is a non-negotiable deal. The Our Daily Bread dated January 1, 1985 listed 12 promises for the Christian to claim:
1.     God's presence -- "I will never leave thee" (Heb. 13:5)
2.     God's protection -- "I am thy shield" (Gen. 15:1)
3.     God's power -- "I will strengthen thee" (Isa. 41:10)
4.     God's provision -- "I will help thee" (Isa. 41:10)
5.     God's leading -- "And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them" (John 10:4)
6.     God's purposes -- "I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil" (Jer. 20:11)
7.     God's rest -- "Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28)
8.     God's cleansing -- "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9)
9.     God's goodness -- "No good thing will He withhold from them that work uprightly" (Psalm 84:11)
10. God's faithfulness -- "The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name's sake" (1 Sam. 12:22)
11. God's guidance -- "The meek will He guide" (Psalm 25:9)
12. God's wise plan -- "All things work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28) -

This New Year is another opportunity for all of us to experience God’s promises in a new level. Allow Him room to fulfill His promises as He sees fit for our sake. God is in the habit of fulfilling them in a grand way and He never ceased to amaze those that wait for Him. Remember that He will never let us down.

Let’s talk again!