What a powerful scripture! We have received the same promises as the Hebrew children wandering in the wilderness! This challenged me to ask this question… Just how many promises does the Bible contain? Enter Internet search engines. They are great for my inquiring mind; just remember we can’t believe all we read there.
How many promises are there in the Bible? The answers I found varied widely. The first site I found concluded there were 3,573 (bible info.com). Others ranged from 3,000 all the way up to over 30,000! No two sites agreed on the number but that doesn’t really matter for our purpose today. The point is the Bible is full of all kinds of promises for our life and according the the verse above they are not just for the people of old; they are for us. I don’t know about you, but that gives me great hope and excitement.
You don’t have to live long on this planet before you realize that life can be very challenging at times! Our desire is to live fairly uncomplicated lives and we want that for our children as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always turn out that way for us. If you have circled the sun a few times on this planet, you know this! When life decides to hurl curve balls and fast balls our way, what do we do? How do we keep the gale force winds in life from blowing us right into hopelessness, depression and despair? Sometimes we seek out council from a trusted parent, sibling, mentor, friend or other relative. It’s great to have those people in our lives! What if the situation is too overwhelming; too complicated; to big; to tender; or perhaps just too embarrassing to share? What happens when that burden is excruciatingly heavy and there seems to be no relief from it’s weight in sight?
Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 (HCSB)
Or as the Message words it:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Live freely and lightly! That’s what I want every day! So how do we accomplish this is our lives? What are some practical steps? How do we rise above what the world throws our way? How do we overcome discouragement, fear and doubt? I guarentee many will think my answer is over-simplistic and that’s ok. I’ve been there too! For many it will seem not only over-simplistic but far fetched. It’s fine, your doubts will not cause any resentment from me. The answer to every question, need or dilemma we have is in the Word of God. I have put it to the test and every single time I have come away with help; comfort; peace. Our post modern culture will tell us God’s Word isn’t revelant or that it’s archaic. They may say it’s too restrictive; all about rules, etc. Even if there is just a bit of truth in what is culturally said about the Bible in our day, how can you dismiss it if you have never truly tested it for yourself?
Whether the actual number of promises found within it’s covers is 3,000 or 33,000; one thing is sure. One of them will fit what you’re facing at least on some level and is worth deciding to stand on that promise in faith. When doubt comes, pray and speak the promise over and over. I doesn’t hurt to keep a check on your motives in the process; are my motives pure and is my heart in the right place?
As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, the best gift we can give ourselves is knowing who God says we are in Christ and being grounded in His Word and His promises. Why? Because the Holy Spirit will remind us or bring it to our mind in time of need or crisis. This is a process and takes time. In the mean time, when attacks or problems come what do we do? Personally, if I don’t know a promise for my situation, I grab my phone; open the browser and search… Scripture for ______? You can fill in the topic with the need. Example: scripture for doubt, fear, discouragement, rejection, etc. Who does the Bible say I am in Christ? What does the Bible say about healing?
A word of warning, if you are using the Internet, not everything you find will be accurate and true so test what you find. Also, check it against God’s Word; that it is in context with the scriptures around it; test it against other scriptures; and pray for wisdom, understanding and revelation reguarding the scripture. This may seem a little complicated, but it is worth it because it works. It is possible to rest in Christ even in the middle of a storm!
A few promises to start with:
2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” NASB
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” NIV
James 1: 5-8 “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.” MSG
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Isaiah 43: 1-2 ““Now this is what the Lord says — the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel — “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.”