3 Questions to Exercise Your Faith
Promises get made; sometimes they are kept. When they are kept, things are smooth; but, when promises break, things get messy, and people get hurt. Isn’t it a relief that God NEVER breaks a promise? When He tells you He is going to do something, he does it. You do not have to wonder if the things God has told you will come to pass; it is only a matter of time until they do. All this may sound obvious; someone reading the words above may even roll their eyes because they feel as if God’s promises have fallen short of their expectations of their life, but I would like to invite you to try a different type of exercise to strengthen your faith–to help you see what God has promised you and what those promises mean in your everyday life; follow this simple faith exercise applied to promises you come across in Scripture.
1) What is God saying?
2) When is it hard for me to believe this promise?
3) How does Jesus fulfill this promise?
Let me walk you through the promise from God I cherish the most while applying these three steps.
Hebrews 13:5 – I will never leave you nor forsake you.
What is God Saying?
The idea here is stunning! God has promised that He chooses to never walk away from me or that I can never wander too far from him. The words “leave” and “forsake” have deep meaning in the original language. The Greek word for “leave” is a personal action one takes to let go of something, or to send something back. It would be like you sifting through the endless items on Amazon, selecting that new product for your home, only to determine it’s not necessary any more. The beauty of Amazon is that they’ve made it super easy (and free) to return that item! When God promises He will NOT leave you, He has just stated that He purchased you, paid the ransom for your life with Christ’s blood, and He will never, no not ever, send you back to the bondage of sin He rescued you from. In simple terms, God tells you He will sustain you. Hang in there; it gets better. The word “forsake” in the Greek means abandonment or desertion. The best way to understand this is that God will not leave your side no matter the circumstances; He will always love you. God is committing to being with you. Think about how many fears come from being alone, and God washes them away with this promise.
When is it hard for me to believe this promise?
Feelings tend to cloud our view of the truth. When I’ve waited for God to move on things I’ve prayed for, it’s hard to believe this promise. When others seem to succeed but I’m stuck, there’s an appearance that God is acting for others and just forgot to help me. The obvious time is when I flat out don’t prioritize spending time with God; those seasons make God, and this promise, feel distant. The best way I know to combat these thoughts is to find the promise elsewhere in Scripture. Psalm 37:28 tells me God is faithful throughout my life and is with me to the end: For the Lord loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. They are preserved forever.
How does Jesus fulfill this promise?
All the promises of God find their yes in Jesus. (2 Cor. 1:20) It’s important to end on praise and love for our Savior, who fulfills all the promises God makes to us. So, when God promises to never walk away or turn his back on you, how does Jesus validate that promise? On the cross He was forsaken so I wouldn’t be. 2 Corinthians 4:9 – [we] are persecuted, but not forsaken…because He was! On the cross Jesus cried out to God the Father, “Why have you forsaken me?” In that moment Jesus experienced something that you don’t have to, being shunned from the presence of God. By becoming my substitute and taking God’s wrath for my sin, Jesus experienced the abandonment I would feel if I remained condemned for my sin. Christ’s fulfillment of this promise shows His compassion for me. He saw me as a sheep without a shepherd. He saw me alone, defenseless for my wrongdoing, and had mercy on me so that I may be in His presence.
As you read God’s Word, find the promises He makes to you; use this three-question exercise, and find your joy increase as you realize you have a God who keeps His word in your life.
Other promises to explore:
Isaiah 41:10 / Philippians 4:19 / 2 Corinthians 9:8 / Romans 8:32 / Psalm 23:6 / James 4:7 / 2 Corinthians 12:9 / Psalm 84:11 / Psalm 50:15
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