While God calls us every single day to not be afraid, to simply trust Him in everything can be difficult. The Christian life is a constant battle between fear and trust; anxiety and trust, and doubt and confidence. When we chronically worry, we get so lost in what we think will happen that we lose sight of our reality. We can find hope when we trust in God’s promises. Here are six keys to activating those promises in your life.
Be Confident That God is Near You
It’s hard to recognize that God is always around us because we can’t physically see Him, but trusting that He is near is one of God’s greatest promises. Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Like many psalms, this was written from a season of trouble. Yet, it is a song of confidence and triumph because David was not in darkness or ultimate peril because the Lord was his light and salvation.
God Himself brought light to David’s life. He did not despair in darkness and all that it represented. His life was filled with the Lord, and his life was filled with the light. The same can be applied to our lives. When you’re worried, remember that the Lord is the stronghold of your life. Only when we you recognize this can you truly be filled with light.
Allow God to Hold You in His Hand
Even when we don’t know it, God is carrying us in the palm of His hand. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Sometimes, we can read certain verses from Scripture a hundred times and fail to take them to heart the way the Lord wants us to. Other times, we can linger on a verse or two, and let them minister life, healing and comfort to us.
Isaiah 41:10 is so rich with the promises of God that it warrants special attention from us. Ultimately, the Lord wants to impart to us through this verse that we shouldn’t be afraid. “Fear not [there is nothing to fear].” One reason why God warns us against fear is that it can short-circuit the answered prayers and blessings that He has in store for us. When you are anxious, hold onto the promise that God is upholding you in His righteous hand.
Trust That God is With You Wherever You Go
God is always with us, even when we can’t see Him or hear His voice directly. Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” There are three times in Joshua 1 that God tells Joshua to be strong and to be courageous because he’ll need to be ready for what’s coming later.
God also commands that he not be frightened or dismayed and for one reason only; “the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” If you are going into a particularly unsettling situation, have comfort in the fact that God is with you wherever you go.
Allow God to Be Your Refuge
While we know that we can turn to God, too often we forget that God is always right there in our corner. Psalm 46:1 reminds us that, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” By definition, a refuge is a safe place. When the Bible describes God as our refuge, it is saying that God is our safe place when we need protection from something.
Knowing God is our refuge enables us to trust Him more freely. We need not fear situations or people who threaten our well-being, whether in a physical or spiritual sense. There is no situation we will ever face that is out of God’s control, so the best place to be is right with Him.
Remember That the Peace of God Passes All Understanding
We know from Scripture that the peace of God passes all understanding. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
This is a wonderful promise. The believer who places his or her full confidence in a loving God and is thankful in every circumstance will possess a supernatural peace. An inner calm will dominate the heart.
The faithful believer will know peace – his heart and mind are guarded by it. No one, especially those outside of Christ, will be able to fathom that peace. The most, it will remain a mystery how someone can be so serene in the midst of turmoil. Hold onto the promise that God’s supernatural peace surpasses all natural understanding.
Allow God to Take Care of Things
God promises that He will take care of our lives. Luke 12:22-26 says, “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”
What is so great about these verses is that it reminds us that we shouldn’t worry because God will take care of the big stuff and the little stuff. Worrying doesn’t change things, big or small, except to make those problems appear worse than they really are. Don’t get hung up on the big things. Cast your cares on God and then trust in His wisdom.
Anxiety and fear often pull us away from God. There’s nothing the devil loves to see more than us shifting away from our Heavenly Father. Yet, we have the power to overcome our anxieties and fears by trusting in God’s promises. When we know that God can bring us through all circumstances, we can find peace. Cast your anxieties on God and let Him do the rest.
More from Faithworks Centre - Keys to Activating God’s Promises in Your Life
There are hundreds—if not thousands—of promises in the Bible for believers. Here are just a few well-known promises:
God said, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5) “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8) “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4) And 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” When God’s promises are fulfilled in our lives, it brings God glory!
But have you ever wondered why your life doesn’t always reflect these promises? How do believers activate God’s promises in their lives? Is there some secret or formula involved? Well, yes, there is, sort of…
#1 – Maintain a Soft Heart
In Hebrews chapter 3, the writer reminds us about the children of Israel after He brought them out of Egypt. He explains how their hearts were hard and rebellious, they tested God, their hearts always wandered from Him, and they didn’t know His ways (Hebrews 3:7-11).
These were supposed to be the people of God! But because of their choices and hearts, God said, “They shall not enter My rest” (Hebrews 3:11b). This meant that they would never enter the Promised Land.
The Promised Land was the huge promise that God gave the Israelites—a land of their own—their inheritance—because they were God’s special, chosen people. But they forfeited this promise of God because of their hardened hearts.
Even Jesus’s disciples dealt with hard hearts: Mark 6:52 says, “For they had not understood about the loaves, because their heart was hardened.”
When we have hard hearts, we cannot understand God’s ways—it blinds us to what God is doing and saying.
Hebrews 3:7 urges us, “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” We too must keep a soft heart that is willing and open to hearing God’s voice if we want to inherit the promises of God.
If we want the promises of God to manifest in our lives, we must guard ourselves from rebellious attitudes and be sure to maintain a submissive heart toward God.
#2 – Reject Unbelief
Hebrews 3:12-13 continues, “Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God … lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”
Sin deceives us so that truth seems like a lie, and lies seem like the truth.
Don’t let sin derail you. Unbelief and doubt set in leading to hardness of heart. That’s what happened to the Israelites: even though they saw God’s mighty works and wonders, they still allowed their hearts to doubt God and to grow calloused toward Him and His ways.
If we are living in unbelief, we cannot expect to see the promises of God in our lives. God’s promises are available to believers, not doubters! Hebrews 3:18-19 says, “And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”
Believing and obeying God are keys to unlocking His promises! Remember, God rewards FAITH, not unbelief!
Hebrews 11:6 states, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
And this brings us to our final point.
#3 – Combine the Word (Promises) of God with Faith!
Hebrews 4:2 explains about the people of Israel, “For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.”
The children of God heard His word and promises, but they didn’t receive anything from God because they didn’t combine what they heard with faith. They never obtained what God promised them because they walked in unbelief instead of faith.
So what exactly is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Faith is believing. Faith is believing that you already have what you’re hoping for; it’s pulling God’s promises from the spirit realm into the physical realm. God puts His promises out there for anyone. Who will receive His promises?
Those who believe in faith that God is Who He says He is and that He’ll do what He’s said He’ll do – no matter what the circumstances around them look like – they believe and obey anyway.
Finally, unbelief and hardness of heart often go hand-in-hand. Jesus rebuked the disciples in Mark 16:14: “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.” The hardness of their hearts was directly connected to their unbelief.
We too must be careful not to allow our hearts to harden or to let unbelief creep in. God’s promises are available to us if we’ll just believe in faith, obey and keep our hearts soft toward Him.
More from Guideposts - Activate God's Promises
The Bible is filled with verses that promise you God’s help on life's journey. But it’s up to you to activate these promises. Here’s how:
1. Don’t be afraid to ask.
It’s what God wants you to do! “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver you” (Psalm 50:15). “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you” (John 15:7). Like Jesus himself, pray (always!) for God’s will: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14).
2. Do what God leads you to do.
Prayer and faith must never be substitutes for action. The Savior who spent so much time praying also devoted himself to teaching and ministering to people’s needs. James 2:17 reminds us: “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
3. Remember: You cannot harvest unless you first plant seeds.
The Message translates Galatians 6:7-8 to read: “Don’t be mislead. No one makes a fool of God. The person who plants foolishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds…But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, will harvest eternal life.” What seeds of goodness can you plant today?
4. Speak God’s promises and blessings into life.
Human words have immense power. “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21). Our words can bless or destroy. Claim God’s promises as your own (even inserting your name!) and speak them aloud. Here are a few to get you started:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).“God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). It is God who “forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” (Psalm 103:3).
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Editor's Note: This piece was originally published by Beliefnet.
Sourced From: Beliefnet
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