One summer several years ago our senior pastor opened his preaching up to suggestions from our congregation, asking us to write our favorite promises of God on the comment cards on Sunday mornings; his intention was to choose from these, and preach a sermon each week on a particular promise. As it happened, only one or two suggestions came in from the four hundred-ish people in attendance at our church’s Sunday morning gatherings. At the time, I wasn’t as up on some of God’s promises that, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, I’ve since come to learn about and treasure in God’s Word. I thought it was such a bummer that more didn’t come in, and I’ve often wrestled with that ever since. Was there a big lack in knowledge of God’s promises that He gives us in Scripture? Was it a lack of interest in our pastor serving us with such a preaching series?
If it was either of these reasons, neither is OK. Since that summer, I’ve tried my best to underline promises from God to His people, that I find as I study my Bible. These have been a huge source of encouragement and up-building in my life, and in my relationship with the Savior.
In our Shepherding group, we’ve been studying the book of James. And some of the promises God gives us just in this one book are wonderful comforts. Here are the ones we’ve spent time discussing. I hope you find rest, comfort, and fuel for your joy in Christ in these like we’ve been doing. Again, all by the grace of God, and the grace of the Holy Spirit opening our eyes to the Truth in Scripture. Keep in mind that these promises apply to Christians who have been born again from their sin and spiritual death, into new life in Jesus; God puts his Spirit into a Christian at the moment of new birth, Who then enables us to actually believe these things and live them out. An unbeliever can’t find the same rest and security in God, through Christ. A sinner must be born again (John 3:3-15).
1. God will grant us wisdom to endure our trials and sufferings when we ask for it (James 1:2-8)
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
2. When we resist the Devil’s attacks, and stand firm in God and His promises, the Devil flees (James 4:7).
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
3. God will draw near to us when we pursue Him (James 4:8).
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
4. God will exalt, bear up, and hold onto his children when they rest in Him with humility (James 4:6, 10).
But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.