I was watching an episode of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” with my family when they showed a clip of a little boy, crying at the top of his lungs at his parents. Between his cries, he said, “You said!” over and over again. Apparently, this little boy’s parents made him a promise and the video was recorded to prank him. While pranks can be humorous at times, what also made the video funnier was that this little boy wasn’t so little. Although he was crying like a two year old, he was more like nine years old.
Those words stuck with our family. We would say, “You said!” any time we wanted to recall a promise that was made. I even found myself sheepishly saying it to God when I felt that His promises in my life were slow in coming.
Whether this kid’s parents reneged on a promise or he was just being a kid, I don’t know, but I do know that when God makes a promise, you can count on it.
So if it seems like God’s promises are a long time coming, there are a few things you can do to keep the faith.
#1 Determine which promises are assured and which are contingent.
There are some promises in scripture that we can hang our hat on–regardless of how we behave, they are ours. For example, in Luke 12:40, Jesus promises to return. This is not dependent upon us. However, many of the promises of God require action on our part. For example, God promises us wisdom, IF we ask (James 1:5). (See my TKTK blog for more on the Guaranteed vs Contingent Promises of God (link).)
#2 Choose whom you will believe.
You can’t serve two masters. You have to choose. You can’t say, “I believe God” but then not trust His words. The enemy will say things like, “You’ve waited long enough,” and “Is God really going to come through for you?” If you choose to allow this doubt into your heart, you have handed over the keys to your promise. Please don’t misunderstand me, the enemy isn’t taking it from you, you are giving it to him. You are not an innocent victim. If you choose to believe the words of others over the word of God, your faith doesn’t stand a chance.
#3 Recall what He’s done before.
One of the fastest ways for my faith to rise up is to remind myself of all of the promises God has already fulfilled in my life. God has likely done a lot for you already. You would do well to shift your perspective to from doubting to remembering.
#4 Realize it’s already been done.
Just because you don’t see your promise manifested in the natural, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have your solution already determined. God had the solution to all your problems long before the earth was even formed. It’s your faith that will bring it from the spiritual realm to the natural.
#5 Guard the promise.
Anything worthy must be protected. Matthew 7:6 reminds us: “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” I encourage you to tuck the promise into your heart and don’t let anyone (including you) trample it.
Faith is the key to access all of God’s promises in your life. A key cannot passively unlock a door; it must be activated. May your faith arise today as you stand on the promises of God for your life.
I pray that as you wait patiently on the promises of God to be fulfilled in your life that your faith may not fail (Luke 22:32)