Power in the Promises: Praying God's Word to Change Your Life

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Overview

Going through tough times? Wonder where God is when you’re struggling?

There is a solution—God’s solution: Live by the promises in God’s Word.

The Bible is chock-full of God’s promises to every believer to help you overcome any obstacle you’ll ever face—and to rejoice during your good times.

In Power in the Promises, you’ll learn how to rely on God’s Word as you deal with:

• ...

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Power in the Promises: Praying God's Word to Change Your Life

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Overview

Going through tough times? Wonder where God is when you’re struggling?

There is a solution—God’s solution: Live by the promises in God’s Word.

The Bible is chock-full of God’s promises to every believer to help you overcome any obstacle you’ll ever face—and to rejoice during your good times.

In Power in the Promises, you’ll learn how to rely on God’s Word as you deal with:

• Fear

• Disappointment

• Rejection

• Family Struggles

• Financial difficulties

• Poor health

• Guilt

And much more. You’ll also learn how to receive God’s joy, experience His love, and grow in faith as you begin to believe, say, and pray the promises from the Bible. Living by the promises of God will change your life…for good.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310337218
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 1/7/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,485,597
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Nick Harrison is a writer and editor based in the Pacific Northwest where he lives with his wife Beverly. They are the parents of three adult children and the grandparents of four. Nick’s previous books include Magnificent Prayer and His Victorious Indwelling. His website and blog can be found at nickharrisonbooks.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Power in the Promises

praying God's word to change your life


By Nick Harrison

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2013 Nick Harrison
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-33721-8



CHAPTER 1

What Is Self-Talk from the Bible?

God never made a promise too good to be true.

D. L. Moody


Here's a question for you: Are Christians supposed to live happy, trouble-free lives?

Okay, wait. I confess, it's a trick question. The answer is yes and no. Yes, the Christian should always be happy, but no, the Christian life will not always be trouble-free. I'm sure you agree with the last part of my answer, but I'm guessing you're not so sure about the "always happy" part.

Still, the Bible—the source of truth for Christians—confirms both answers in several places. Here are some verses about trouble:

• The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. (Ps. 9:9)

• For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock. (Ps. 27:5)

• You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Ps. 32:7)

• This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. (Ps. 34:6)

• The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all. (Ps. 34:19)

• The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him. (Nah. 1:7)

• Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. (2 Cor. 1:3–5)


Those are just a few of the many Bible verses confirming that we will have trouble in this life. But maybe you noticed that most of the verses also contain a promise from God for when we're in trouble. In nearly every case, we read that God will be our refuge and stronghold. He will keep us safe, hide us, set us on a rock. He will protect us, deliver us, and comfort us.

As for happiness in the life of Christians, take a look at these verses:

• May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. (Ps. 68:3)

• Praise the Lord! Happy are those who fear the Lord. (Ps. 112:1 NRSV)

• Happy are the people whose God is the Lord! (Ps. 144:15 NKJV)

• To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness. (Eccl. 2:26)

• I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. (Eccl. 3:12)


Other verses tell us always to be joyful, courageous, brave, confident, thankful—all sorts of positive things. God's will is, in fact, for his people to be happy—happy when things go right and also when things don't go right. Happiness, from God's point of view, shouldn't be dependent on our outward circumstances.

On what then, should we depend for our happiness?

True happiness, for the Christian, comes from our love relationship with our heavenly Father. That relationship trumps all else: a sordid past, a troubling present, and an unpredictable future. Of course, experiencing the happiness God intends for us depends on our willingness to trust him. We show trust by believing his Word and specifically his promises in the Bible. That's called faith. Faith in our God is a dominant theme throughout the Bible. We're told, in fact, that faith pleases God.

But can we really find happiness simply through having faith in God's promises? Is it possible to live worry-free when our marriage may be in jeopardy, our children are rebellious, our health is doubtful, our bank account is empty, and the news headlines cause us to shudder?

Yes, it is possible—no matter what. Trouble comes to us in all sorts of packages. Yours may be different from mine, and mine may be different from my neighbor's. But the remedy is still the same: trusting in the power of God's promises as revealed to us in the Bible.

Sometimes it seems like God sees to it that we have plenty of opportunities to put his promises to use. Those opportunities usually go by names like trouble, worry, illness, financial loss, broken relationships, and more. When we have such deep needs in our lives, if we listen closely, we can hear God calling, "Come closer, come closer."

One of the roughest times in my life came in the form of an economic disaster. I became very discouraged when there seemed to be no way out of my insurmountable problem. But then, at my lowest, God helped me see my situation from his point of view. I saw myself as caught in a raging river trying to swim upstream and getting nowhere fast. Then it was as if God said, "Let go, Nick. You can't swim against these waters. But if you'll let go and allow the rushing waters to pull you along, I promise you'll wash up on the shore of my will."

And so that's what I did. Over the course of the next several months, my situation didn't go away. In some ways, it got harder. And yet I had a peace that somehow it would all happen just as God promised—I would come out all right. Even better, I would come out on the sandy beach downstream—exactly where God wanted me to be.

It was at least two or three years later before I could finally say that horrible episode was behind me and I had indeed washed up on the shores of the perfect place God wanted me. Would I care to go through that experience again? No! But what I have now, I wouldn't trade for anything. God came through. His promise held firm.

How about you? Are you fighting against some raging waters right now? Are you facing something or someone that seems insurmountable? Or are you sailing along smoothly but hoping for a more fulfilling life? Either way, I hope you won't think I'm being simplistic when I tell you that God is for you. Grab hold of his promises, and don't let go. Trust him. Trust him. Trust him.

I'm not suggesting that you can simply use God's promises to pray away the trials in your life. That certainly didn't happen to me. Believing God's promises isn't an escape from reality or the troubles that plague us. But God's promises are stepping-stones for us to move on in life. The great English preacher Charles Spurgeon said that very thing: "The Bible is a book of precious promises; all the way we have to travel, they seem to be like a series of stepping-stones across the stream of time, and we may march from one promise to another, and never wet our feet all the way from earth to heaven, if we do but know how to keep our eyes open, and to find the right promise to step upon."

Power in the Promises is designed to help you keep your eyes open and find the right promises to step on as you journey from earth to heaven. My goal is to encourage you to trust God for great things in your life. If you're walking through a dense jungle right now, I want you to keep trudging straight ahead with the promises of God as your machete. The jungle will end. Stay the course. Hang tough with God. Use the promises and come out on the other side of this experience with more confidence in God than you have now. Whatever you do, don't get discouraged. Don't throw in the towel. You will get through this.

Despite all you're facing right now, all you've faced in the past (and the baggage you may still carry as a result), and all you'll face in the future, if you're a Christian, you have a source of happiness that trumps every obstacle you face.

And if you're one of those whose life is smooth sailing right now, then make use of the wind at your back. Raise the sails that are the promises of God's Word and see where he takes you.

So, are you ready to tap that source of happiness? Are you willing to be transformed over the course of the next several days, weeks, months, and years? The good news is that we can start our transformation now and be one day farther along tomorrow in our journey to a happy, productive life. That is what you want, isn't it? Happiness, closeness to God, usefulness, a sense of security that can't be shaken? I think that's what we all want.

The secret to that kind of life is a lot closer than you think. In fact, your life will begin to transform this very week as you put the principles in this book into practice.

Here's a verse about God's promises to help you get started. It tells us one reason God gives us his promises: "[God's] divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires" (2 Peter 1:3–4, italics mine). Did you catch that last part? Peter tells us the reason God has given us so many "great and precious promises" is that through them we might "participate in the divine nature" and escape "the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."

Sign me up!

Yes, the Bible is a book of promises given to every child of God so that he or she can overcome in every circumstance of life. The promises of God, when taken by faith, will absolutely transform us!


Christianity 101

This isn't some new teaching, it's been there all along. Down through the centuries, these same promises have transformed millions of believers just as they will transform anyone today who will dare to believe them, say them, and pray them. In past generations, this was Christianity 101.

Wisely did the nineteenth-century Scottish pastor and writer Andrew Bonar write, "Is Christ yours? Then his promises are yours."

Another great man of God from that century, D. L. Moody, wrote, "Thank God, none of those promises are out of date, or grown stale. They are as fresh and vigorous and young and sweet as ever." The problem is that many of us today seem to have forgotten how fresh God's promises are. Why is that?

Beth Moore asks us this very thing in her book Believing God. She writes, "God has made us promises. Real ones. Numerous ones. Promises of things like all-surpassing power, productivity, peace, and joy while still occupying these jars of clay. Few of us will argue the theory, but why aren't more of us living the reality?" Perhaps we've grown so accustomed to modern life with all its shortcuts to our needs and "happiness" that unless we run into a crisis, we don't consider the importance of God's promises.

Men and women of old were often driven to God's promises by sheer necessity. Charles Spurgeon was a master at digging out the promises of God and standing on them, even as he suffered for many years from severe depression. In spite of that, he could write: "It is marvelous, brethren, how one sweet word of God will make whole songs for Christians. One word of God is like a piece of gold, and the Christian is the gold-beater, and he can hammer that promise out for whole weeks. I can say myself, I have lived on one promise for weeks, and want no other. I want just simply to hammer that promise out into gold-leaf, and plate my whole existence with joy from it."

The truth is that every Christian is richer than we realize—not monetarily, but in something even more important: rich in the "precious promises" that are rightfully ours.

Another great hero of the faith who experienced the promises of God firsthand was George Mueller. As a young man, Mueller felt called of God to start an orphanage. And for the next fifty years of his life, the promises of God sustained his work with the thousands of children who passed through his homes. One of the promises he claimed early on was Psalm 81:10, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it"(KJV). Mueller took this to mean that God was promising to supply all he would need in his ministry to the orphans. And God did. Years later, Mueller would remark, "If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time." God did not fail Mueller—ever. Nor does he fail us.

Hudson Taylor was another one who lived on God's promises—and through him came the great China Inland Mission that has reached thousands of Chinese men and women for Christ. At one point in his ministry when he might have become discouraged, Taylor wrote to his wife, "We have twenty-five cents—and all the promises of God!" It was, of course, more than enough. The fruit from Hudson Taylor's work in China remains to this day.

In more recent times, we've seen examples of God fulfilling his promises in the lives of people like David Wilkerson, founder of Teen Challenge, a ministry to drug addicts and gang members he began in New York City. David started believing the promises of God as a teenager. In his classic book The Cross and the Switchblade, he tells of the time when he was the new student in school and had to face a bully. Not being a fighter, he turned to the Bible and claimed the promise in Zechariah 4:6: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit."

When the time came to face Chuck, I decided I would simply lean on this promise. God would give me a holy boldness that would be equal to any bully.... Suddenly ahead I saw a boy walking toward me. I knew in an instant this would be Chuck. He was strutting down the opposite side of the street. But the instant he saw me, he crossed over and bore down on me like a heavy, snorting angry bull. Chuck was an enormous boy. He must have weighed fifty pounds more than me, and he towered above me so that I had to bend my neck to look him in the eye. Chuck stopped dead in my path, legs spread and hands on his hips.

"You're the preacher's kid."

It wasn't a question; it was a challenge; and I'll admit that in that moment all my hopes of holy boldness vanished. I was scared to the core of me.

Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts. I kept repeating this sentence over and over to myself while Chuck commenced to give his opinion of me. First, he picked on the fact that I looked stupid in my new clothes. Then he worked over the obvious truth that I was a weakling. After that, he had a few words to say about preachers' kids in general.

By my Spirit saith the Lord. I still had not spoken, but inside me an amazing event was taking place. I felt fear melting, and in its place came confidence and joy. I looked up at Chuck and smiled.

Chuck was getting madder and madder. His face turned red as he challenged me to fight.

Still I smiled.

Chuck started to circle me with his fists clenched, pumping his arms slowly and taking short feints toward me. In his face though was a hint of alarm. He could see that, for some unfathomable reason, this little shrimp was truly not afraid.

I circled too, never taking my eyes off his, and all the while I smiled.

Finally Chuck hit me. It was a hesitant little blow that didn't hurt, and it happened to catch me on balance so I wasn't thrown. I laughed low and secretly.

Chuck stopped his circling. He dropped his fists. He backed off, and then he turned and took off down the street.

Next day at school I began to hear how I'd beaten up the biggest bully in town. Chuck had been telling everyone. He said I was the toughest guy he ever fought. Apparently he laid it on thick, because always after that I was treated with respect by the entire school. Perhaps I should have told the kids the truth, but I never did. I had a kind of insurance policy in my reputation. And hating to fight as I did, I wasn't about to turn my policy in.


Many years later, a much older David Wilkerson could report, "As I look back over fifty years of ministry, I recall innumerable tests, trials, and times of crushing pain. But through it all, the Lord has proven faithful, loving, and totally true to all his promises."

Not many of us are called to start ministries to drug addicts and gangs, but we each have tests, trials, and even crushing pains that come our way. And the promises of God will overcome every obstacle. Like David Wilkerson, we all have a God-designed destiny that we will only see happen as we lean hard on the promises of God for a lifetime.

Another more recent example of God fulfilling his promises can be seen in the life of Joni Eareckson Tada. Her trials came in the form of quadriplegia after a diving accident. Through her several decades in a wheelchair, Joni now says that for her, "real satisfaction comes not in understanding God's motives, but in understanding his character, in trusting in his promises, and in leaning on him and resting in him as the Sovereign who knows what he is doing and does all things well."

Have you discovered that God does all things well? If you're a Christian who has been living below the spiritual poverty line for far too long, isn't it time to change that? Isn't it time to have the abundant life Jesus promised? To experience him doing "all things well" in your own life?

Good. Now let's take a look at what it means to go through life with the promises of God as our anchor.


The First Step: Believing the Promises of God

The first response God ever requires from a person is faith. It's through faith that we receive anything from God, including that very first step in the Christian life: believing in Christ and being born again as we receive him into our lives by faith. Some Christians mistakenly believe, however, that once we come to Christ by faith, the rest of the Christian life is simply going about the duties of a Christian: going to church, reading the Bible, praying hard, and staying away from evil.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Power in the Promises by Nick Harrison. Copyright © 2013 Nick Harrison. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents


Acknowledgments, 13,

Part 1: What Is Self-Talk from the Bible?, 15,

Part 2: Self-Talk Topics, 43,

One Final Exercise, 314,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Excellent for those suffering with depression

    This is an EXCELLENT book for those suffering with depression. It helps to change your thinking with the Word. Instead of reading a chapter a day, I read a chapter eveyday for 2weeks. This is how I memorize the scriptures and the affirmations.

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