My mentor is a prayer warrior. She loves to pray and spend time with the Lord. She fell in love with the Bible by praying its words and its promises. One of the things that she likes to say is,
“We have to pray the promises and Scriptures back to God. Sometimes I say, ‘God, you promised [fill in the blank]‘ and I know He is listening and thinking, ‘I’m so glad you were listening’!”
Any parent is enthused when he realizes that his child was listening and taking to heart the parent’s instructions. And we can expect God to keep His word. He has never broken it yet.
Do you know the Word of God? Do you know the things that He promises us? It is important to spend time getting to know Him, and understanding His promises. Many things are claimed today as promises of God that are indeed not promises; the Health and Wealth Gospel for example. God does not promise that we will be healthy and wealthy if we follow Him. Most Christians, historically, have been persecuted and suffered for their faith. The Bible states clearly that,
“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
– 2 Tim 3.12
But God does promise to provide our needs,
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
– Phil 4.19
“…for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
– Matt 6.8
His provision might not always look like we want. I often reflect on Corrie Ten Boom, a young Christian who was forced into a work camp in the Holocaust and at the instruction of her sister Betsie thanked God for the fleas in their barracks – which they later learned gave them freedom to read their Bible and praise God with the other women there. Corrie herself did not want to thank God for the fleas and lice, but her sister persisted, obeying the instruction of Paul in 1 Thessalonians to give thanks in everything. God knew and met their needs, even during the imprisonment and slavery of the Holocaust. He gave them the grace they needed to perfect their faith.
And He will give us, by His grace, whatever is needed to perfect our faith.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
– Phil 1.6
Let us claim His promises. Let us trust that He has a perfect plan for our lives. Let us turn to Him and pray His own word back to Him while we work our way through this life. Let us learn that sometimes what is best for us and our faith is not what we necessarily want, but let us be willing and quick to thank God for the fleas and lice.