Have you discovered how hard it is to find and use God’s promises when you’re facing a tough situation?
When your life is going great, you probably aren’t focused on God’s promises. When things turn ugly, it’s a whole different story. You’re confused, anxious, overwhelmed and afraid.
You want God involved in solving your problem RIGHT NOW… like instant coffee, fast food, and speedy internet connections.
After reading How to Leave a Problem in God’s Hands and Not Steal It Back, Frank emailed me and asked, “Is a Scripture promise just any scripture that you say to yourself in the conversation in your mind? Or are specific parts of the Bible referred to as Scripture promises?”
This is a great question. It requires that we learn what God’s promises are, where to find them, and how to use them. And hopefully we can do some of this before the next crisis invades our life.
What are Scripture promises?
Many specific verses and passages of the Bible are referred to as Scripture promises. In these verses God gives you a direct promise of something He is going to do for you. For example, in John 14:27 Jesus promises you peace:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
In Jeremiah 29:13 God promises that you will find Him when you seek Him with all your heart. In Matthew 28:20 He promises never to leave you or forsake you.
God has given us many promises in the Bible. All of those promises are yours, and you can claim them by faith.
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God (2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV).
God’s promises have a job description
As you work God’s promises into your prayer life and begin to believe them, you participate in God’s divine nature.
That’s what His promises do… work God’s nature within you. As they do, you’ll find yourself escaping bad stuff. Evil desires fade away. Faith replaces fear. You and your circumstances change in ways you hadn’t envisioned.
Pretty cool, right?
His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV, italics mine).
As you read through the Bible you’ll discover that some of the words jump off the page at you. That’s the Holy Spirit awakening you to His Word.
…certain verses seem to nail your problem to the wall and give you hope.
When that happens you know the Lord has just given you a promise that you need to grab onto and weave into your life through prayer and healthy self-talk.
Sometimes these verses aren’t even a direct promises such as John 14:27, but part of a Bible story or a section of a Psalm. You really sense in your spirit that God is giving you this verse or passage personally.
3 ways to find promises that address a problem you’re facing
1. Use a concordance
First, think of specific words that you associate with the problem you have, such as fear, afraid, fearful, anger, sick, sickness, or children (if you are having problems with your kids).
Many words, such as depression, aren’t found in the Bible, so you will need to look for a similar word such as heaviness.
Thinking of a word opposite of your “problem word” also helps. For example, rejection isn’t found in the Bible, but accepted is.
Next, search for these words in the concordance in the back of your Bible or use www.biblegateway.com.
Read over the verses from your search results. Some of them you will want to read in the context of the Scripture passage in which they appear.
A few of these Scriptures will speak hope to the problem you are facing. These are your promises.
When I was a young mother I needed to know God’s promises for my kids, so I looked up generation and generations in my concordance.
In Do You Worry About Your Kids? Grab onto This Tip, I explain how I turned two of them into self-talk to keep myself out of worry mode.
2. Read through portions of your Bible
Start with Psalm, Proverbs, Isaiah, and the New Testament.
As you read through these books of the Bible, keep a journal where you write any Scriptures that address your problem.
When a verse or passage jumps off the page and into your heart, you know the Holy Spirit wants you grab onto that verse as a promise from Him to you.
This was helpful for me when I faced cancer some years ago. I explain how in Scripture Prayers for Healing and Strength.
3. Use a Bible promise book
This is the simplest way to find a list of God’s promises.
I put it last because it usually doesn’t have the same impact in your life as does personally digging in God’s Word for His promises.
However, it’s still a valuable way to find the promises God has for you, especially when you’re in a hurry.
To find a Bible promise book, visit your local Bible bookstore or go to Amazon.com and do a search for “God’s Promises in books.”
If you’re super in a hurry, do a Google search for “God’s promises on __(insert your problem word)__” and see what you come up with. But always double check the verses in the search results with what’s written in your own Bible.
Putting this into practice
1. Practice focusing on God’s promises and not the problem you’re facing.
2. Practice praying Scripture promises by starting with your home and family.
What about you?
Did you find this helpful? If so, how? I love to hear your stories on finding and using God’s promises in your own life. 🙂