Claim God's Promises 100%
A few years ago, I attended a church retreat where the guest speaker said something along the lines of “Jesus already died. We should claim everything He died for!” The boldness of his statement shocked me at first and then the power of the words sunk in. Why wasn't I living with more faith and confidence? This episode shares five promises to claim when you're hurt and five promises to claim when you're happy — promises that have helped me draw near and stay reliant on God. What's your favourite promise to claim from God? Please feel free to email me! I'd love to continue the conversation.
Chapter 7: Claim God's Promises 100%
*Listen to the chapter on You Are You Podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.*
A few years ago, I attended a church retreat where the guest speaker said something along the lines of “Jesus already died. We should claim everything He died for!” The boldness of his statement shocked me at first and then the power of the words sunk in. God knew what he was doing when he sent his one and only Son to die for our sins. Jesus knew what he was doing when he willingly went to the cross. And us? I pray we thank God for all he’s done and live out his best plan for our lives. We must not live in ignorance and be destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). Our lives are a gift from God and we get to use them to know, love and serve him! The best.
My life really changed when I started claiming God’s promises. Even after the aforementioned church retreat, it was still a year or two before I learned to do this. Perhaps sometimes God allows us to reach a point where we finally realize he is all we need. That’s my story anyway. When I hit rock bottom, I finally surrendered to God 100%. I felt so broken and asked Jesus to please carry me, and he (with great love, grace and mercy) showed me his better way. That I didn’t need to be a slave to sin and take on so many responsibilities that he wanted to take. And it blew my mind!
If God says we can always seek his face and humbly present our requests to him, why wouldn’t we want his help? Why would we believe in God Almighty but then choose to live without him? The Bible is of course a guide to all the promises God wants to give us. We get to learn about what he’s done, is doing, and will do — though of course there’s still some mystery! But it’s the one book containing all the life advice we could ever possibly need. Let’s study it well because we love him and it’s our absolute pleasure to know him.
Here are five reminders of God’s promises that have personally helped me overcome great difficulties. Afterwards, I’ll share five reminders of God’s promises that have helped me in happy seasons - reminders to keep my heart fixed on God.
Claiming God’s promises when you’re hurt
1. God fights for you
The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” (Exodus 14:14)
Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD. (Romans 12:19)
These are some of my favourite verses of all time. Hello, God himself will fight for us! Feeling betrayed? God will fight for you. Messed up badly and need God’s help? Trust he will fight for you. In either situation, we might be tempted to take matters into our own hands. We might be tempted to seek revenge or force someone to forgive us. But let’s not do anything without seeking God, being in his Word, and waiting for his direction. We can trust that his guidance will always come from a place of him being fully in control. May we always seek him first and trust him to lead.
2. God gives you strength
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)
There are definitely times in life where we just don’t think we can do it. It might be related to a challenge at school or work. Maybe it has to do with forgiving someone who’s hurt us deeply. Perhaps it’s about overcoming a sinful habit. Or it could be an exciting new opportunity that’s outside of our comfort zone. Whatever is happening, God will give us the strength to handle it. He promises. He promises so many times and in so many different ways. Another one of my favourite verses is Ephesians 3:16 which says that according to the riches of his glory he will strengthen us with power through his Holy Spirit in us (Ephesians 3:16).
Let us never forget that the Spirit of God is inside us and that he is WAY stronger than anything in this world (1 John 4:4)! So we don’t need to fear. With God, we really can handle everything that comes our way.
3. God helps you
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (Psalm 46:1)
Yes God gives us the strength to do all things but I think help deserves its own section because it’s just such a beautiful promise. We’re never alone! God will always help us. He’s the upholder of our life (Proverbs 3:6). The author of Hebrews succinctly summarizes this thought saying “So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me? (Hebrews 13:6). Amen amen! If we ever feel like the world is against us, let’s meditate on this truth. Let’s say it out loud and declare that it’s true until we believe it with all we are.
4. God delivers you from your enemies
But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken! (Isaiah 54:17)
When someone speaks badly of us, it hurts. Especially when it’s a lie or if we feel they’ve misunderstood our intentions or the situation. Of course we want to speak out and defend our reputations. Sometimes we think that surely this is our right! Now I’m not saying we should never defend ourselves. But, especially if we’re still experiencing thick waves of anger, it’s important to wait for the right time and moment, and in this we can seek God for his advice.
If God wants us to wait to speak, then we can rest knowing that he has a plan. As the verses above show, he will without a doubt get justice for us. So we don’t have to worry. There’s no way we could get justice for ourselves better than God could. Let’s not try and take on his responsibilities; that doesn’t please him. May we give thanks for the blessing that we can let go and trust God will handle things on our behalf.
5. God goes before you and is with you
Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
Sometimes we go through hard seasons. Maybe it’s happening because of poor choices, maybe we have no idea why it’s happening. Either way we can ask God to carry us and help us through. Personally I did this many times while I was healing from my hardest period. It felt like it took all my strength just to make it through the day without crying in public or uttering angry words. In the midst of the situation, it helped me to know that the pain would end one day, whether on earth or in heaven.
In some seasons we work hard for the Lord! In other seasons we need his gentle embrace. But in all seasons we can trust that God is not only with us but that he’s going ahead of us. He’s making a way not just in our lives but in the lives of everyone we meet. He’s got a good plan and God willing we will see.
Claiming God’s promises when you’re happy
While there will be times for us to uproot and heal, so there will be times for us to laugh and dance (Ecclesiastes 3). We can be sure of this and look forward to new chapters in our lives.
Sometimes these happy, dance-filled seasons tempt us to focus on the blessing over the Blesser. When we can tangibly see or experience a blessing (e.g. husband, baby, career success, wealth to name just a few), sometimes we just want to focus on itt. There’s nothing wrong with this, except when we allow the blessing to bring us more joy than God. When our hearts long for its presence more than God’s, when we start to focus on our definition of what’s enough rather than seeking God’s plan.
Let’s keep our hearts fixed on our Lord. Here are some verses I’m meditating on.
1. God is the giver of all things good and perfect
Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
The Bible is clear that all good gifts come from God. This includes everything from our personality to talents, opportunities to accomplishments. In the natural realm, it might appear that we’ve achieved success and blessings because of our hard work. But haven’t we all had times where we’ve tried our best and things just didn’t work out? And others where we’ve acted based on faith and things have turned out way better than we expected? Meditating on this verse reminds me to focus on God not the gift. Yes we should wisely steward God’s good gifts and not take them for granted. But above all, God alone satisfies and is trustworthy.
2. God promises wisdom comes with humility
Pride leads to disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2)
Make no mistake, pride is UGLY. It’s what caused Lucifer to rebel from being one of God’s beloved archangels and caused him to be banished in disgrace (Ezekiel 28:17). It’s really no joke, not to be treated lightly as just some sin that everyone deals with. Perhaps we all do from time to time, but let’s be quick to cast it away and seek God whenever we’re tempted to think we’re doing better than our friends, are more blessed than our enemies, are more gifted than anyone we know in whatever area. God’s warning is clear.
3. God wants to give his children spiritual gifts
Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. (1 Corinthians 14:1)
If God tells us to earnestly desire something, let’s do it ASAP! It’s so awesome that in addition to giving us unexpected blessings, he sometimes tells us exactly what he wants to give us. The thing is that we need to ask for them the gifts such as word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, prophecy, distinguishing of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12). If they seem like outlandish gifts, it may help to know God wants us to use them to build up the body. As we receive his good gifts, may we use them to build up the body and evangelise to the lost.
I’m saying a big yes to earnestly desiring everything God wants to give me. Are you in?
4. God says it's OK to take our eyes off our ambitions
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3)
Whenever pride starts to rise up, let’s remember this wonderful verse. It couldn't be any clearer, right? Let’s ignore all worldly advice that we need to be selfish in order to be successful. God is clear. Don’t be selfish; forget about impressing others. His opinion is the only one that matters. And he wants us to be humble, thinking of others as better than ourselves! Definitely not always an easy thing to do but let’s step out in faith and try. It’s true that we’re fearfully and wonderfully made, absolutely loved by our Father. But so is every single other person so eyes off ourselves; eyes on serving God and others.
5. God is majestic and does mighty acts
There are so many amazing Psalms, it’s basically impossible to pick a favourite. Still Psalm 145 blows me away. David’s psalm of praise is so incredibly beautiful! Oh how glorious is our God! If we ever think our egos are getting a bit too big, if we know we’re spending too much time thinking about ourselves, let’s slow down and savour these verses. May we remember how fantastic our God is and ask him to fix our eyes back on him. He is the one who is worthy of all praise.
Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power. I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles. Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue; I will proclaim your greatness. Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness; they will sing with joy about your righteousness. (Psalm 145:4-7)
May we work hard and enjoy his blessings, always remembering that he is the one from whom all blessings flow.
God will give you all you need and more
So what are we waiting for? I pray we encourage each other to open our Bibles everyday and enjoy learning about the beauty of God’s love. Let’s speak his truths and promises over our lives with great faith. Speaking in agreement with God is powerful! Praying and seeking God until his promises come to pass pleases him! May we seek him with all our hearts and live the best life he’s already died for us to have. All for his glory.
God has so many wonderful truths, promises and blessings in the Bible.
The Bible has answers for every situation.
Meditate on verses and watch them transform your heart.
Pray and ask God for greater hunger for and understanding of his Word.
God, will you give me a new hunger for your Word?
God, will you help me grow in discipline and maturity?
God, how can I experience more of you in my community?
God, what promises do you want to pray about this season?