Have you ever had to face a situation that was intimidating or overwhelming, but your big brother or best friend showed up, gave you that knowing look, and said, “I’ve got your back”? When that happens, your confidence level rises, and you are ready to take it on! God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and earth, the only One Who can supply all our need, wants us to know, whether we have a big brother or best friend or not, that we’ve got plenty of backup and support! The all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present God has given us hundreds of power-filled promises that are available for us to claim—ready whenever we need them. God’s got our back twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Let’s go on a quest to learn how to recognize promises of God so that we can claim them for our own.
Now, how do we recognize promises of God that we can claim? Well, how do we make friends? First, we’ve got to get to know them, spend time with them, and build close associations with them, right? Likewise, we’ve got to spend time in God’s Word to build a recognition and association with His promises to us. There are certain characteristics we can look for to help us recognize a promise of God as we read His Word. Three characteristics a promise of God could have are (1) it’s a truth God made available as a resource to help us live a more abundant life, (2) it has a practical purpose, and (3) it has the assurance and the solid backing of Almighty God.
Before we connect these characteristics with some promises, let’s point out that the Bible is a really BIG book! Although all of it is profitable for us to read and understand, it is important for us to know that there are specific promises addressed directly to us as born-again believers. The sections of the Word addressed directly to us are the seven Church Epistles: Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Thessalonians.
The promises and truths written before the day of Pentecost—that is, those written in the Old Testament and Gospels—are for our learning (Romans 15:4) and can be claimed for our own when they line up with what is addressed to us.
Let’s look at an example of the first characteristic that we want to learn to recognize—a truth God made available as a resource to help us live a more abundant life:
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Whoa! All our need supplied! This is an outstanding example of a characteristic of God’s promises. “All” means this is a 100-percent resource to help us live a more abundant life.
Our second characteristic to recognize is that God’s promises can have a practical purpose. They are not just nice sayings. They can have something practical for us to do or claim.
I Corinthians 15:57,58:
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
These verses start with a promise and end with a promise. God promises us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, and He assures us that our labor for the Lord is not in vain. Right in the middle is our part, the practical side: be steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. This is a promise of God that we can do something with to enjoy the more abundant life. This promise has a practical side.
The third characteristic to look for to help us recognize a promise of God is that it has the assurance and backing of Almighty God.
I Corinthians 1:9:
God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
II Corinthians 1:20:
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
God is faithful. He cannot lie (Titus 1:2). All His promises are yea and amen! What a great characteristic of God’s promises—He backs them up.
Now that we have seen characteristics of promises written directly to us in the Church Epistles, we can believe to recognize them, get to know them, claim them as our own, and walk out with all the backup of God Almighty to live a more abundant life today!