Of course, this promise about God's promises giving us all we need to live for His glory in this world is also one of my favourite ones too!
God's promises are for God's children - to enable them to live right in this dark world! If you are a child of God, the same promises that strengthened and blessed my walk with the Lord are yours to claim as well! In fact, there are hundreds and perhaps even thousands for us to take and apply to our lives.
To make this series a little more personal, today and in my last devotional I wanted to focus on verses that have most helped me in my walk with the Lord. What are my seven most used passages since I came to know the Lord as my Saviour, and what are my most favourite passages overall (ones that have been ongoing favourites since they first impressed themselves upon me)?
My seven favourite verses (within the last few years) are:
1) God's Sovereignty
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
No matter what the trial or affliction in my life, the Lord will ultimately turn it around and use it for my good! That doesn't make the evil good in itself (as some would claim), but it means that everything the Lord allows into my life has some purpose that fits His plan for me - whether something to strengthen my faith, something to chastise me, something to draw me even closer to Him, something to teach me more about Him and His Word, or perhaps something to better enable me to relate to and offer comfort to someone else going through a similar trial further down the road - whatever the purpose, the Lord God is still in control!
I love the Old Testament equivalent of this promise too (as stated by Joseph to his brethren):
Genesis 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
2) The Lord Is With Me In All My Valleys
Psalms 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
One of my favourite themes of study in the Bible is that of the valleys we face in this life - and the Lord has promised to be with us in each one, and to bring us through them (not leave us stranded in the midst of them). In fact, the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Saviour, is the Lily of the Valleys.
Song of Solomon 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
I love that old hymn of the faith which was inspired by this verse, but the author of the hymn didn't get it completely right - Jesus is the Lily of the VALLEYS (plural).
Whatever the valley you face, Jesus is there. These valleys were all wonderful to study out and tackle in my preaching at the Gospel Mission:
a) The Valley of the Shadow of Death - which we will all face at one time or another, not only the looming shadow of our own death, but the shadow of the death of our loved ones. Still Jesus is with us!
b) The Valley of Trouble (Achor) - this is the backslider's valley! This is where the Lord brings us to the end of ourselves, so we will return to Him. The true believer will sing in that valley because it is the door of hope, the door back to repentance and to fellowship with our Saviour.
Hosea 2:15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.
c) The Valley of Strength (Elah - in 1 Samuel 17:2) - what are the giants you face in your life? The Lord can give you complete victory in Him! The battle is not won in the strength of man, but in the Lord's strength - the battle IS the Lord's!
1 Samuel 17:47 And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands.
d) The Valley of Blessing (Berachah - 2 Chronicles 20:26) - when utter defeat looms on the horizon, victory is found only by trusting in and praising the Lord!
2 Chronicles 20:17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
2 Chronicles 20:22 And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.
e) The Valley of Weeping (Baca) - The Lord can bring comfort and blessing out of our times of sorrow and grief, when our strength and hope is found in Him.
Psalms 84:5-6 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
f) The Valley of Decision - this is the decision we all face in this life, the decision to choose or reject the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour.
Joel 3:2, 14 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
3) The Burden Bearer
These two verses go together:
1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
I don't have to carry my burdens alone - in fact, I don't need to carry them at all! I can throw them all upon Jesus and let Him carry them for me! I love the end of 1 Peter 5:7: for he careth for you! He will bear your burdens - when you give them to Him - because He loves you. Five simple words of assurance and comfort, but how tremendous their impact!
Once I give Jesus my burdens and cares, then I can take His yoke upon me and work upon my life with Him - my Lord and I, both of us together.
Matthew 11:29-30 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Song of Solomon 2:15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
4) No Fear, But Power
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
A rich word study is found in this verse! Meditate upon these definitions:
a) Fear - dread or timidity.
b) Power - force, ability, strength - dunamis, where we get our word dynamite from!
c) Love - agape - selfless, sacrificial love towards others. Love is an action word!
d) A Sound Mind - discipline, i.e. self-control.
The Lord has NOT given us the spirit of fear! We do not have to dread or be afraid of what He has planned for us - for what He has called us to do, He will equip us for. He has given us tremendous power to serve Him with, love to enable us to reach out to others, and a sound mind that is willing and able to do His will. The Lord has given us the ability to control ourselves, to put out whatever fear we may have (whether caused by Satan or by ourselves), and to serve Him in love and faithfulness.
1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
5) God Proved His Love
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Whenever you are tempted to think, "Woe is me! Life is hard and unfair," remember the goodness and lovingkindness of the Lord! Jesus already proved it to the world by dying for our sins - and He proved it to you personally by saving your soul the instant you turned to Him in repentance and faith.
Take a second look at Calvary – and there behold God’s wondrous love!"
Psalms 40:17 But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God.
In a world that tries to beat us down, tries to make us feel worthless, tries to make us feel like a number, tries to make us focus on what we lack, rather than glory in all that we have in our Heavenly Father, here is a wonderful verse that reminds us of the Lord's tender care and compassion upon us. He thinketh upon me! Thinketh... present tense, ongoing - my Saviour is always thinking about me! Who cares if the world does not value me - the one who is most important does - and that is what counts the most in light of eternity! My sins and situations in life may strip me of my dignity and self-worth, but my Heavenly Father loves me in spite of myself, loves me while knowing everything about me - loves me anyways! Praise His name!
It is interesting to note that the very next verse (Psalm 41:1) begins with this phrase: Blessed is he that considereth the poor... From the context, I would say that our Heavenly Father considers Himself blessed everytime He thinks about us!
Psalms 139:17-18 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.
Amen! Those thoughts are precious to my soul!
7) The Lord Will Finish His Work In My Life
Psalms 138:8 The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.
Someone has compared our lives to a pathway with a curtain hanging one step in front of us; as we walk each step, the curtain advances one step further on. We never know what our future holds - but, by faith, we can trust that our Heavenly Father has it all planned out for us - and we can know that He will work out what He has begun in us, and in our lives. There are various times I have had to claim this verse by faith. Whether it was waiting for the results of a job interview, waiting for important paperwork to be processed, waiting for a life or death situation to be resolved so my sister and I could make the right decisions in a difficult time, or waiting for doors of ministry to be opened or closed in my life - the Lord perfected (completed) that area of my life so that I could glorify Him and step out in faith to fulfill what He had planned for me.
While I believe the above verse primarily applies to the circumstances we face, we also have God's promises that He will perfect the work He has begun inside each of us!
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
(Words: Daniel W. Whittle)
I know not why God’s wondrous grace
To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
Redeemed me for His own.
But I know Whom I have believed,
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.
I know not how this saving faith
To me He did impart,
Nor how believing in His Word
Wrought peace within my heart.
I know not how the Spirit moves,
Convincing us of sin,
Revealing Jesus through the Word,
Creating faith in Him.
I know not what of good or ill
May be reserved for me,
Of weary ways or golden days,
Before His face I see.
I know not when my Lord may come,
At night or noonday fair,
Nor if I walk the vale with Him,
Or meet Him in the air.
Precious promises indeed!!
60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible