“The Christian life starts with the promises of God. He makes claims about Himself and gives us promises about our salvation and our future. Then, having trusted in those promises, we respond in faith and obedience to God’s commands.” (Kevin De Young)
There are over 7,000 promises in the Word of God. One of the most well-known involves prayer. Let’s sink our tap-roots into Jeremiah 33:3 for a moment and note with me four promise words from this passage: Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.
Call to me – “to cry out, call aloud, literally to roar”
Here is the promise of an invitation in the form of a command. God knows exactly what we need for life, and He does not leave us wondering. At the very root of prayer and our great need is simply crying out to God.
Believers who really believe in the promises of God, who walk by faith, are not fearful to cry out to God!
Psalm 4:3 But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The Lord will hear when I call to Him.
I will answer you – “to heed, to pay attention, to give answer”
Here is the promise that God will answer you. He gives us His undivided attention every time we cry out to Him. His answers are always best, even when there is delay or a no.
Matthew 7:7-8 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
I will show you great things
Show – to make conspicuous something that was previously unknown
Great – in importance, as here, God Himself
Here is the promise that when we pray, God will reveal Himself to us. God operates totally and consistently based upon Who He is. Study through the Old Testament and see how He revealed Himself to Abraham, for instance, via His names and His attributes. The great things in prayer are not first of all His answers but the revelation of Who He is.
In response to Jeremiah’s prayer recorded in chapter 32, God responds in verses 26-27, Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, saying, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?
So, when you pray, look for Who God is, then watch His hand.
I will show you mighty things
Here’s the promise of God taking you into the secret place of His counsel, the intimacy of His fellowship, into the Throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:14-16).
This word mighty refers to “hidden, inaccessible” things. It pictures an impregnable city protected by high walls. When you pray, God takes you behind all the ‘stuff of this world,” all the circumstances of your life, things you do not understand, and He brings you into the secret place of His grace, His wisdom, His love, His mercy, His power, His resources, His faithfulness, and on and on and on.
No one can touch the mighty things of God; they are inaccessible. You have access to them by the work of Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit (John 16:13; Romans 5:1-3; Ephesians 2:18-19; 3:12; Hebrews 10:19-23).
The strongest believers are those on their knees surrendered and believing the promises of God. That’s living well in 2017.
Wise is he in the day of trouble who knows his true source of strength and who fails not to pray. (E.M. Bounds)