The Promise head image

The Promise

January 21, 2024

Dr. Paul Cannings

There are times in our lives when we may experience moments of doubt (this is a major issue because of James 1:6-8). Times when sickness persists, financial pressures are overwhelming, the political climate of our country is polarizing, job environments unchanging, and marriages highly emotional and challenging. Many times, we have prayed and done our best to submit to the will of God, and nothing changed for years. We find ourselves constantly pushing back doubt, doing our best to resist apathy in worship and our Christian walk each day. For anyone who may be here, I feel you! I understand how the persistent pressures of life may cause us to drift. This is why the writer of Hebrews writes, “We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.” (Hebrews 2:1; NIV) These individuals had to be warned of the dangers of drifting away; “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. …… But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him. But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:36-39; NIV)

We may agree with all of the above verses, but the question remains, ‘How do we humanly accomplish finding strength while our enthusiasm disintegrates?’  We may ask Paul how our weaknesses become strengths (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). First, accept that no matter how strong we may feel, we are weak, always susceptible to satan’s attacks (Revelation 12:10). Remember, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.” (1 Co 10:12; NASU) We need to constantly depend on God’s wisdom (James 1:5-9), inner strength (Ephesians 3:16-21; 1 John 4:4), and protection (Hebrews 1:14; Psalm 34:7-9). Secondly, as believers, we need to depend on other believers’ spiritual gifts (1 Peter 7:7-10; this is why we must not gossip). Thirdly, we must become prayer warriors, whether it is like the woman with an unjust judge or Daniel, who, with all his overwhelming difficulties, was determined to trust God’s Word (Daniel 1:8) and persistently prayed without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Psalm 28). James would say, “….The effective prayer of the righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16). Fourthly, remain conscious of your blessings (Philippians 4:8-9). This keeps our worship energized (Deuteronomy 28:47-48). It also exposes our love and trust in God. Fifth, don’t neglect church gatherings (Hebrews 10:23-25; This is written right before Hebrews 10:32-39). Don’t quench the Spirit of God by becoming disobedient to His Word (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 3:16-21). Sixth, we must humble ourselves and be committed to confessing sin (1 John 1:5-9).

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God …….Take YOUR Stand against the devil’s schemes.” (Ephesians 6:10-11; NIV)