This article is by Clarence L. Haynes Jr. and published by Crosswalk
God’s promises are a bedrock or anchor to your soul. Simply put God can be trusted. There are some estimates that say there are more than 3,000 promises in Scripture. I have even seen one estimate as high as 7,000. The point is very clear, God loves making promises and more importantly, God loves fulfilling them. The question, however, is how do you actually go about claiming the promises of God for your life? He has placed them there for you and you have the right to believe God for them, so how do you do this? Here are four simple, yet compelling ways to claim God’s promises for your life.
Any claim of a promise from God must begin with prayer. It all starts with asking. All throughout the Bible God is constantly reminding you to come to him and ask him for what you need. I am going to make a bold statement here. Nothing moves in your life without prayer. Your salvation began with prayer and everything else in your life will happen with prayer. You cannot and will not see the promises of God fulfilled in your life if you do not pray. In fact, not praying is almost the same as not having the promises, because you end up with the same result, you don’t see God move in your life. Consider these verses that encourage you to pray,
“I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” Psalm 17:6
“He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.” Psalm 102:17
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
“Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” James 5:13
“The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help. He rescues them from all their troubles.” Psalm 34:17 (NLT)
Please don’t forget every promise God has in your life is initiated through prayer (so what are you waiting for get to praying?). Before you pray let’s consider the other three ways we can claim God’s promises.
Sometimes the prayer isn’t answered the first time you pray. What do you do when this happens? Do you give up? Absolutely not! In Luke 18 Jesus tells the story of the persistent widow which if you haven’t read it before I encourage you to do it. What I want to focus on is how he introduces the story in verse 1.
“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.” Luke 18:1
This one verse tells you that to see the promises of God fulfilled in your life sometimes it takes persistent prayer. You should always keep praying until what God has promised comes to fruition in your life. The reason you can do this is because you can trust God’s promises. I am not saying keep praying for stuff you want out of your selfish motives God will never answer those prayers. But when you hold on to what God has promised to do and you are persistent in praying for it, God will bring it to pass. Consider what he has said about his promises.
“God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?” Numbers 23:19 (NLT)
God will fulfill his word and bring his promise to pass. You just have to remain persistent in prayer and never give up. Here is a final set of verses to encourage you in this from Matthew.
“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8 (AMP)
You need to pray and keep on praying if you want to claim and see God’s promises fulfilled in your life.
This might almost seem contradictory after telling you to claim God’s promises with persistence I am now telling you to claim them with patience. This is not a contradiction or an oxymoron; this is simply a reality. The interesting thing about the promises of God is that though he makes them, we don’t know when he will fulfill them.
Take Abraham, for example. God told him he would have a son and make him into a great nation. That is a wonderful promise. The only problem is (if you want to call it a problem) is that Abraham had to wait 25 years to see the promised fulfilled in his life. This could also happen to you.
While God wants us to be persistent, he doesn’t want us to get impatient. When you get impatient you run the risk of trying to bring God’s promise to pass yourself (not a good idea), or you forget God’s promise altogether and move on to something else (again, not a good idea). While you can have an expectation of God fulfilling the promise, you don’t always have a time frame of when it will happen, unless God gives you one.
If you are going to claim God’s promise from Scripture a good dose of patience along with it is helpful and healthy. By the way, patience doesn’t imply doubt. On the contrary, it implies trust.
You have prayed with persistence and now you are patiently waiting and trusting him to bring it to pass. This confidence assures you that when God brings the fulfillment of the promise, he will do it at the moment when it is absolutely for your good. Sometimes the reason God delays is because you are not ready (I know we always think we are ready), and if he moved now, the fulfillment of the promise in this moment may not be in your best interest, so he delays. Patience gives you the ability to keep trusting as you wait to see God bring his promise to fulfillment in your life.
By the way, don’t worry about the clock running out or you missing your time. If God has promised it, he will do it, and he will preserve you until the time he brings his promise to pass.
“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.” 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)
“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.” Philippians 4:6-7
Finally, you should claim every promise from God with praise and thanksgiving. Praising him for his ability to do it and thanking him because he will. Notice from these verses that the thanksgiving comes before the answer. You must be willing to praise, worship, and offer thanksgiving to God well before the promise is ever fulfilled. The reason this is necessary is one word…peace.
The Bible reminds us that when you do this God will guard your mind with peace. By the way, this word in the Greek means to set up a guard and defend you from anything getting in. This means peace is on watch until what God has promised comes to pass. However, this only happens as you pray, praise, and give thanks for the fulfillment before it happens.
What are you waiting for God to do in your life? What promise has God made that you need to see fulfilled? I encourage you today to make these four steps a part of your life as you wait to see what God will bring to pass in your life. Be prayerful. Be persistent. Be patient. Be praising. If you make these things part of your life you will see many wonderful promises of God come to fruition for you. One last verse to encourage you from Corinthians
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT, parentheses added)
Go through your day today giving God Yes’s and Amens for the promises fulfilled and all the ones that will continue to be fulfilled in your life.