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Exploring the Bible

9 things God has promised

When we are praying to God, it’s important that we understand the difference between the things that God has promised to us and the things that he has not promised. If we wrongly believe that God has promised something to us, then we can become disillusioned and disappointed in God, wondering we he hasn’t provided this for us.

Today, I want to take a look at what the Bible tells us that God has promised to us!

Forgiveness

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:9

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. – Isaiah 1:18

We are told many times in the Bible that if we confess and repent of our sins, turning away from the things we have done wrong, then he will forgive us – because Jesus has already paid the price for our sins.

Family

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. – Romans 8:14-17

For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. – Romans 12:4-5

Whilst God does not promise that our biological family will be perfect (we are all sinners after all), he does promise that when we believe, we become part of God’s family – the global Church body. Our Church family are our brothers and sisters.

Suffering

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted – 2 Timothy 3:12

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

It’s not a cheerful one, but the Bible repeatedly tells us to expect suffering. That persecution is inevitable. We have hope for a future without suffering, but our lives on this earth are destined to include suffering of at least some variety.

Guidance

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. – Isaiah 58:11

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. – John 14:26

God has guided his people since the Old Testament and when Jesus ascended to heaven, he told us that he would send the Holy Spirit, a guide and advocate who will teach us and guide us in God’s will. This is a really important one for prayer – we should be actively seeking God’s guidance through prayer when it comes to decisions, changes, relationships and even just day-to-day life.

To hear our prayers

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

When we reach out to God in prayer, he hears us. He listens to what we have to say. This doesn’t mean that he will respond to our prayers in the way that we want, or even in a way that we understand. But we can rest in the knowledge that he does hear us.

Wisdom

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. – James 1:5

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.” – 1 Corinthians 1:30

The wisdom that God provides is far greater than any wisdom that we could help to gain by ourselves. This is a wisdom that is from God and leads us towards holiness, and it is something that we should be praying to God and asking for!

Peace

 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:7

This verse specifically talks of a peace that we receive when we cast our prayers and anxieties upon God. When we lean on him, pass everything over to him and trust him with our problems, we receive his peace. This is a peace unlike anything that we could receive on Earth, or even understand, as this verse says: it ‘transcends all understanding’.

Love

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? – Romans 8:35

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

Like so many things included within this list, God’s love is not something we can easily understand. What we do know, is that is beyond our imagination, it is all encompassing and it is so huge that Jesus came to Earth to live alongside us and sacrifice himself for us. This is a love we cannot escape from; we cannot earn it and we cannot lose it.

Hope

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. – Revelation 21:4

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9-10

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

I saved my favourite for last. The hope we have in Jesus is incredible. It may not be a hope that is fulfilled in our Earthly lives, but it is far greater – it is a hope for a future life, where we spend eternity with God is a kingdom that is free from sadness, mourning and death. Our hope is based in God’s victory over death, when he died for our sins and rose again.

These are all things that God has promised to us, that we can find in the Bible. It is important that we always base our understanding of God in what we read in scripture, as this is his word. I have also written a blog exploring some of the things that God has not promised to us to help us further understand the God that we are praying to!

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