Wise People Keep Their Word

Have you ever had to take the witness stand in a court of law or seen someone take the witness stand? You are supposed to put your hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth? I thought this was okay and would do what I was told. I met a man who said that it was against his religious belief to swear by the Bible. He said that promising to tell the truth is enough. I was curious about this, so I asked him what he meant. He told me about this passage in Matthew. Let’s look at what Jesus says about keeping our promises.

Matthew 5:33-37 (NIV)

 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ An oath is a promise, which is something you give your word to do.

34But I say to you, Do not swear [take an oath] at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

36And do not swear [take an oath] by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.

37Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ or your ‘No’ be ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one [Satan].”

James 5:12 also tells us the same thing, “But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.” Oaths, promises, and contracts should obligate us to keep our word, especially when it is tempting not to. Jesus was not condemning all forms of promises, contracts, or agreements. But was speaking of a spontaneous vow made when a person says, “I promise I will do (whatever).” Or, “If you do (whatever) I will do (whatever).” It does not mean Jesus’s teaching in this passage discourages careful, thought-out promises, such as wedding vows or a legal contract.

The Consequence of Rash Vows

Making rash vows can have devastating consequences, which is why Jesus said not to make vows or oaths. The story of Jephthah illustrates the foolishness of making vows without understanding the consequences. Before leading the Israelites into battle against the Ammonites, Jephthah—described as a mighty man of valor—made a rash vow that he would give to the Lord whoever first came out of doors to meet him if he returned home as the victor. When the Lord granted him victory, the one who came out to meet him was his daughter. Jephthah remembered his vow and offered her to the Lord (Judges 11:29–40). Jephthah was so sorrowful because he loved his daughter.

Joshua made another foolish oath when he swore not to attack the Gibeonites. After Joshua conquered Jericho, the men of Gibeon tricked Joshua into making a treaty with them, which is the same as an oath. Joshua did not seek the Lord’s guidance and wisdom concerning the treaty. When they found out they were tricked into making the agreement, this is what Joshua said in Joshua 9:20 (NIV) “This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that God’s wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them.” See Joshua 9:3-21 to read the entire account. The oaths or promises we make are serious to God, and He will cause us to suffer the consequence if we don’t keep our word, so be wise about what you promise to do.

Herod made a foolish vow because he was so full of himself. Matthew 14:6-7 states, “But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, 7so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.” What she asked for made Herod very sad and afraid. You can read this account in Matthew 14:1-12.

When We Make Oaths?

When you make an oath, make sure you are being led by the Holy Spirit and not your flesh. Psalm 15:4 describes a righteous person as one “who keeps an oath even when it hurts and does not change their mind.” Oaths, vows, and promises are binding, even when spoken frivolously or privately, as part of everyday conversation. A promise is a promise, and there is no loophole in God’s eyes to allow a person to renege on an oath, which includes marriage vows. It is so sad that so many people, including myself, break our promise to love and cherish our spouse till death do us part, then get divorced. The consequences are many when we break our marriage vows. In my case, my first husband broke his vow to me.

When you promise something, you need to let your “yes” be “yes.” Be very careful when disciplining your children, that you don’t say how you are going to punish them for their poor behavior and then can’t do it, or don’t do it. This will break your children’s trust in you, which will destroy your authority to speak into their lives.

If a child asks a parent for a promise, the parent should hear it as an indictment, since it reveals that the child has learned they cannot quite trust their mother’s or father’s word. Their “yes” has not always meant “yes”. Ideally, a parent’s word should be so reliable that the child never thinks of guarantees. Indeed, every follower of Jesus Christ should aim to be so reliable that no one asks them for promises. To build trust, you need to keep the promises you make.

The following are Scripture passages explaining the expectations and consequences of making vows or oaths.

If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. –Deuteronomy 23:21

If a man vows a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. –Numbers 30:2

You shall not swear by my name falsely, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. –Leviticus 19:12

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” – Exodus 20:7

God’s Grace When We Swear Falsely

The story of Peter denying Jesus is the most incredible example of God’s grace and love for Peter and for us. What amazes me is that Jesus knew Peter was going to deny Him three times before the rooster crows. Jesus knows our every thought and action, and He will help us do what is right if we humbly ask (James 4:6).

Peter proudly declared in Mark 14:31,’Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.’ And all the others said the same.” It wasn’t long before Peter swears, he didn’t know Jesus, according to Mark 14:70-71, “But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” The rooster crows, just as Jesus said it would, and Peter realizes what he had done and weeps bitterly, then runs away. I am sure he feels shame, wouldn’t you? Then, Jesus comes to Peter after he had risen from the dead and restored Peter’s spirit by asking him three times if Peter loved him. Do you love Jesus? We will all make vows we don’t or can’t keep, but God is rich in mercy and will give us grace.

May God bless you richly.

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Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to Trust Again.

A Wise Person Controls Defiling Thoughts

A Wise Person Appeals to Their Accuser

11—God Promises to Give You Peace and Rest

Would you agree that we live in a world full of chaos and hate? Does the world news make you anxious? Do you feel stressed by the pressures of life? If so, God promises to give you rest and peace.  Imagine that you are lying in a hammock under a shady tree, relaxing by a pool or lake somewhere, or sitting on a porch swing reading a captivating book. Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it? God promises to give you everlasting rest and peace that rivals the ultimate relaxation situation.

What do you need rest from?

We need rest from carrying our worries and responsibilities. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” When our eyes are on Jesus, and we pray about everything, we will stop striving and feeling weighed down by the world’s concerns. 1Peter 5:7 states, “Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”  King David said in Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” So when you pray and give your cares to God, He promises to sustain you, and you won’t be moved, that is, to be provoked. The Apostle Peter tells us in 1Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” Doing evil is disobeying God.

We also need to enter God’s eternal rest. Hebrews 4:1, 6, 11 explains, “Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.” 6) “Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience.” 11) “Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.” These verses encourage us to strive to obey God, so we don’t lose our eternal rest. In my last post, I explained how God promises to rescue us from His wrath when we obey Him and do what is right.  Hebrews 4:1 says we are to “fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it [His rest].” This type of fear is forsaking evil and not giving in to our sinful nature and lustful desires but turning to God and obeying His commands.

How do you achieve peace in a world full of troubles and chaos?

I found that peace resides in my heart when I look to Jesus and give Him my concerns. My favorite go-to Scripture verse is Isaiah 26:3,You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” I wrote a series of posts about trust because trust is so hard to do, and we become disappointed when our expectations are shattered. Understanding God’s promises help us trust Him. 2Corinthians 1:20 states, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” God keeps His promises because it brings Him glory.

Troubles Are Inevitable, but Peace Is a Choice We Make

Jesus said in John 16:33,I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” Jesus has overcome the world, but how do we overcome the world?  1John 5:4 explains, “For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” Because we have faith that God keeps His promises, we don’t have to carry the cares and troubles of the world. The Apostle Paul encourages us in Philippians 4:7-8, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” If you don’t give God the issues that cause you anxiety and worry, then you choose not to have peace.

When We Obey God, We Will Have Peace

I don’t know about you, but I feel miserable and guilty when I sin. I have no peace when I say or do something that hurts another person. But when I repent and ask forgiveness, I also must ask God to take my guilt to feel peace again. Proverbs 3:1-2 tells us, “My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, 2for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.” And Isaiah 57:21 states, “There is no peace, says my God, for the wicked.” Wicked people do not have peace, which is why our world has so much chaos and hate.

Conclusion

I hope you have been blessed by this post, and I pray you will have peace and rest during these troubling times. Keep your focus on the things of God and not on the issues of our world. There is nothing that escapes God’s notice. 2Chronicals 16:9 tells us, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him [completely His].” God keeps His promises; you can trust Him.

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POSTS about God’s Promises


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website.

Check out my first book called Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

8—God Promises to Give You Strength

Do you sometimes think you don’t have the strength to go on? So many things sap our strength, such as illnesses, hardships, depression, stress, disappointments, too many tasks, etc. The solution for enduring troubling issues is easy, but doing it is hard. It is human nature to try to overcome and solve besetting issues in our power, which saps our strength. The solution is to submit to God everything that troubles you. Submitting your troubles to God involves admitting you need God’s help and strength, then letting God take care of your issues, which is hard to do. Psalm 68:35 states, “Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!”

Find Strength in God

Ephesians 6:10 tells us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” God’s might gives us strength to endure and stand firm against our enemy, who causes most of our troubles. According to 1Chronicals 16:11, you find power when you are in the presence of God through continually praying, praising, and pondering His promises.“Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!” Also, claim Habakkuk 3:19, which says, “GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” Have you lost hope? Find your strength and hope to scale the mountains in your life through God’s might, not your useless attempts to be strong. Do you find yourself depressed? Pray and seek God to give you hope and strength to endure the issue sapping your energy.

Strength in Waiting

Sometimes we must wait and seek God for the strength to endure the issues we are facing. When you seek Him, the key to receiving power is to give God an offering of thanksgiving and praise, knowing He keeps His promises. Isaiah 40:31 proclaims, “but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” When you feel weak, especially as you follow, honor, and serve God, trust His promises to strengthen the weak and faint. The hard part is waiting to receive God’s promise. It is equally hard to give thanks in all circumstances, which is God’s will (1Thes 5:18).

Know that you are God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10), and He is shaping you through tough times to reflect His image (Rom. 8:28-29). Also, adversity causes your faith to become stronger so you can have the strength to endure troubles and temptations. God also has a good work planned for each of us, and we all need to go through hardships to strengthen our faith and character. Claim God’s promise in Psalm 46:1-3God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, 3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” God is our refuge and strength when we face grief and difficulties. Though it is hard to endure hardship patiently, we know we are being perfected when we patiently persevere (James 1:3-4). 

Trust God to Give You Strength

Trust is hard for us because we need to rely on God to keep His promises. Many of us have painful memories of disappointments when we relied on someone to do something, and they let us down. These painful memories often prevent us from trusting God. Read my short book on my website to learn how to heal painful memories. 2Corinthians 1:20 tells us, “For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” We can trust God to keep His promises. By faith, we can speak into existence Psalm 28:7, “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” If you need strength and have none, you can call it into existence by believing and claiming God’s promises. Ponder the following Scriptures: “Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, ‘I believed, and so I spoke,’ we also believe, and so we also speak” (2Corinthians 4:13). Also, “Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare [proclaim]; before they spring forth, I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:9).

Strength for the Grieving

We lose our strength when grieving a loss or disappointment. Nehemiah 8:10b encourages us to “not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Not only do we find strength in God’s presence, but we also will have joy. Psalm 16:11 explains, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 73:26 states, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” What a wonderful promise.

Fulfilled Promises Bring Him Glory

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans in Romans 4:20-21 the following, “No unbelief made him [Abraham] waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” The Apostle Peter teaches his readers in 1Peter 4:11, “Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”

Conclusion

We can only attain God’s strength when we seek His help and submit our troubles to Him. You also find strength when you remain in God’s presence through praying, praising, and pondering scriptures. Lastly, God promises to give you strength for His glory. I will end with one of my favorite scripture promises: 2Chronicals 16:9a, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him.” To achieve a blameless heart, read my post called WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL? and Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

RELATED POSTS

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Pt. 1: Forsaken? Betrayed? How to Trust Again.

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God?

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Yet Another Layoff—How to Rise Above Worry, Anger, Insecurity, and Grief

HOPE: How it Motivates and Inspires BUT God’s Sovereignty…


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, at hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

If you find this website helpful, you will benefit from the latest book. You can order Breaking Mental Strongholds on Amazon.

Check out my first book called Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Life-changing Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name so I know you are a real person making the request.

7—God Promises to Fight for You

I love hero movies where someone fights for the weak and disadvantaged and rescues them. I am so glad I have the God who created the Universe fighting for me. Why do we think we have to fight for our rights or fight for what we believe? We have GOD!

You may never have faced a situation where you needed God to fight for you, but if you don’t know the promises, you can’t seek God to keep His promises to fight for you. I was facing a rough divorce and custody battle. I claimed God’s promise to fight for me. I had peace and just let God do His thing, and it was amazing to see. My ex-husband tried everything to get custody of our children because he promised that if I separated from him, I would never see the children again. I immediately thought he was going to kill me or the children or all of us. You hear these horror stories of an ex-husband who kills their ex-wives or kills their children. Therefore, I developed severe anxiety, which I am still working with God to overcome.

I feel an anxiety attack coming on as I write this. To stop an anxiety attack, first take a deep breath and relax all your muscles to stop the parasympathetic nervous system from overreacting. Pray and loose the fearful thought or memory from your mind and bind in God’s promises or be thankful for God’s protection.

I can share many examples, but here is one amazing way God fought for me. My ex-husband hired a psychologist to evaluate the children and to testify that I was abusing them. This is the same psychologist we went to after we separated to see if we could keep the marriage together. She later told me that I needed to divorce my ex-husband for my safety. My personal psychologist, who was helping me deal with the abusive relationship with my ex-husband, also advised me that I needed to divorce him.

We were both Christians, and I didn’t want a divorce because I firmly believed God disapproved of divorce, and I wanted to please God. I am digressing, back to the courtroom. The psychologist who evaluated the children was put on the stand to testify. She testified on my behalf that I was not abusing the children. Another amazing thing happened. My ex-husband’s lawyer was also on my side and said so in the courtroom. My ex-husband was so furious that he fired both the psychologist and his lawyer and then stormed out of the courtroom. God is so amazing; to Him be the glory.

I wasn’t a perfect Christian, but I humbled myself and looked to Him to help me and fight for me. But to experience God’s promises, you need to be reconciled to Him by believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sin and was raised from the dead and is seated in heaven (1Cor. 15:3-6 and Rom. 10:9-10). God promised that we could be his children when we receive Jesus, His Son, and believe in Him (John 1:12). God loves His children and will protect them. Carefully read each Bible passage below and note the condition that you are expected to satisfy and what God said He would do.

Exodus 14:13-14 “And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. 14The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

Isaiah 41:11-12Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. 12You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all.”

Isaiah 54:17No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.” 

Psalm 18:3  “I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

Conclusion

You will never experience God’s strength and deliverance until you humbly look to Him to give you the strength to endure. As long as you pridefully fight the battle on your own, God will let you, but as soon as you relinquish the battle to Him, begin to praise Him and give Him glory. Trust Him with the troubling situation so that you will have peace and joy. We won’t be afraid when our mind is set on the things above where Christ our Savior is seated. Knowing God is with me in my troubles and is fighting for me encourages me to rest in Him.

Claiming the promises of God in prayer may not yield the results you desired. But the results are part of God’s good plan for you. We all experienced disappointment when our prayers weren’t answered as we wanted. I wrote a series of posts on why God sometimes does not hear our prayers or wants us to wait for His timing, or He says “No.” You can find these posts here. In my third post, l focused on claiming God’s promises to answer our prayers. Remember, most promises are based on meeting conditions. The primary requirement is having faith and believing that what God says, He will do it, and nothing is impossible for Him. Romans 4:20-21 states, “No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.” Abraham had to wait 15 years to see the promise of God fulfilled, yet he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God because he was fully convinced that God would keep His promise. Are you convinced that God will keep the promises you are claiming in prayer?

RELATED POSTS 1—God’s Promises – Introduction

2— God Promises to Deliver Us from Our Troubles

3- God’s Promises to Answer Prayers

4—God Promises to Provide for Your Needs (Updated 3/19/22)

5—God Promises Always to Be There to Help You

6―God Promises to Be Our Protection, Shield, Stronghold, and Refuge


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Check out my first book on Amazon called Fighting Unseen Battles.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Life-Changing Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

5—God Promises Always to Be There to Help You

Have you ever had to depend on God to help you? One time, the traffic was rerouted around an accident. I had no idea where I was or where I was to go. This was before GPS. I prayed for God to help me know where to turn on the back-country roads to get back on the road I was on. God did help me, and I had peace, though I started to become anxious when I stopped praying. Another time God helped me was when I was in graduate school, I would cry out to God for help when I didn’t know what to write or how to write, God was with me, and He directed my thoughts to get my writing project done. How fantastic is that? I have so many stories, but I want to respect your time.

You can ask God to help you with anything, okay? For example, I lost two international shipment reviews. I knew I had them, and I began to work on the first one, then it and the second shipment review disappeared. I searched all my computer folders in case they shifted out of my work folder into another one, couldn’t find it. I prayed and asked God to help me. He put it into my mind to go into the program that contained the shipment review form and raw data. I went to the tab for reports, but I had to keep praying because I could not figure out how to retrieve the raw data. God helped me so that I could finish my reviews. Whew, who knew God was a computer expert, but guess what, He knows all things, which is why we can trust Him.

In the last post, I explained that God promises to provide for our needs. But you will never know how God can help until you acknowledge you need help. It is unfortunate that no one wants to be in need and is afraid of having to depend on God. In this post, we will explore how God helps us and the fact that He is always with His children. Imagine, we serve the almighty God who promises to help us and wants to help us. I can’t wrap my mind around that. For example, when the Israelites were ready to go into the promised land, it seemed impossible. The Jordan River was at flood stage, and they had to remove those presently living in their promised land. This is what Joshua said to the Israelites.

Deuteronomy 31:6Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Joshua 1:9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

As you know, just about every promise has a condition we must fulfill to experience what is promised. In the two verses above, the condition is that the people are to be strong and courageous and not to be afraid. You will never experience God’s help until you look to Him to give you strength and courage, then trust Him with the situation so that you won’t be afraid. Knowing God is with me encourages me to rest in Him, knowing He will help me.

To experience God’s promises, you need to be reconciled to Him by believing that Jesus is the Son of God who died for our sin and was raised from the dead and is seated in heaven (1Cor. 15:3-6 and Rom. 10:9-10). God promised that we could be his children when we receive Jesus, His Son, and believe in Him (John 1:12).

All of us had experienced disappointment when our prayers went unfulfilled. I wrote a series of posts on why God sometimes does not hear our prayers or wants us to wait for His timing, or He says “No.” You can find these posts here. In my third post, l focused on claiming God’s promises to answer our prayer. Remember, most promises are based on meeting conditions. The primary requirement is having faith and believing that what God says, He will do it, and nothing is impossible for Him.

God promises to help us even when situations look bad.

Psalm 23:4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

The situation in Psalm 23:4 is one we all will experience at the end of our lives if we are not instantly killed in an accident. Some people experience being in a perilous place where their lives are in danger. Have you ever gotten lost in a city and found yourself in the wrong neighborhood? A college friend lived in a very dangerous area on a street corner where drugs were sold. She said she had to get on the floor when gunfights started. One bullet went through her window right where she was sitting. God helped her and protected her. She no longer lives in that neighborhood, but she still owns the home.

God promises to help you in every circumstance:

Hebrews 13:5-6Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?

Isaiah 41:10, 13Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” 13) For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.

If you have been following my blog or read my testimony, you will know that I went through a very difficult time with an old supervisor who harassed me to get me to quit. I sought God’s help not to be anxious for my future and to help me love her and show kindness. God answered my prayer and gave me peace. I put Isaiah 41:10 and 13 on my computer screen, so I was reminded every day that I did not have to be afraid because God was with me. I would love to hear how God has helped you, so please leave a comment.

Conclusion

You will never know God is with you until you look up and trust He is with you to help you. Do not be afraid, do not fear. Fear is the opposite of faith and trust. You will never know what it is like for God to help you until you submit your problem to Him and put your hand in His. I write a series of posts on Psalm 91 about how God protects, delivers you from troubles, and helps you.

RELATED POSTS

1—God’s Promises – Introduction

2— God Promises to Deliver Us from Our Troubles

What are God’s Promises for Answered Prayers?

4—God Promises to Provide for Your Needs (Updated 3/19/22)

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share this link with your friends and family; hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected. Please do not reproduce any part of the posts or my book without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom and this website.

Check out my latest book Breaking Mental Strongholds which you can order on Amazon. To learn more about it, read my post called Breaking Mental Strongholds Book. Also, check out Fighting Unseen Battles on Amazon. To learn more about this book, read: How to Fight Unseen Battles.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Life-changing Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

3- God’s Promises to Answer Prayers

Do you believe that God hears and answers your prayers? Are there prayers that God hasn’t answered? Do you believe in God’s truth that nothing is impossible for Him (Luke 1:37)? God does answer many of my prayers, but I am waiting on some requests; yet. I choose not to focus on the unmet requests but believe that God can do the impossible. Sometimes He says “No.” I wrote a series of posts on why God sometimes does not answer our prayers. You can find these posts here. In this post, we will focus on claiming God’s promises to hear and answer our prayer. The following is a brief review to diagnose why God seemingly does not hear our prayers.

  • Is there sin in your life? Sin blocks our prayers (Is. 59:2). Confess all known sin and ask for God’s forgiveness (1John 1:9).
  • Are you trusting God? Your request may not be God’s will or it’s not the right time.
  • Are you praying for unregenerated people? People have the free will to choose to disobey God and live a self-destructive life.

God does not promise a trouble-free life, but he promises to deliver us from all our troubles when we hold fast to Him in love and call on Him. Read my second post to learn more. Satan will tempt you to despair and become anxious. Completely submit the issue to Him in prayer, and He will do the impossible. Resist the devil’s temptation to doubt God’s promises by standing firm and telling the devil what God’s promises are. Sometimes the impossible is when God gives us the power to forgive. Sometimes the impossible is having peace in our troubles.

As you read each promise, say it two times. The first time say, “I believe what (read the promise)” and the second time say, “Thank you, Lord, that (promise).”

I believe what Psalm 4:3 says, “But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.” “Thank you, Lord, that You have set apart the godly for Yourself and that You hear when I call to You.” To learn more about what it means to be godly, read my series of posts here. 1Peter 3:12 states, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil [sin].”

Matthew 7:7-8 states, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

Matthew 21:22 says, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

John 14:14 states, “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

John 15:7 tells me, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

Ephesians 3:20 states, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.”

1John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

If you struggle with knowing how to pray, use the Lord’s Prayer Model.

Thank you for reading this post. May God Bless you richly and may His face shine on you.

Joyce



All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Check out my book on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Life-changing Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

How to Fight Unseen Battles

What are unseen battles? How do you know you are in a battle if you don’t see it?  These questions and many more are answered in my book called Fighting Unseen Battles that you can find on Amazon. If you wish to read my eBook and don’t have a Kindle or a Kindle app on your computer or phone, you can go to GooglePlay and download it for free.

Though there are many books written on Spiritual Warfare by big-name radio hosts and preachers, my book is unique in that it addresses the unseen battles against our minds, hearts, and souls.

How often do you struggle with being offended, worrying, being judgmental, and so on?

Do you realize how often the spirit world interacts with you?

My book explains how we are spirit beings in a physical body living in a physical world and how the unseen spiritual world interacts with our spirit. Read 1John 4:1-6 and underline all “Spirit” references. Here are the first three verses: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”

How many times a day do you have an opportunity to become offended?

This book will help you recognize and overcome offenses. For example, I was helping an inmate fight the unseen battle of deception that generated anger. Because of this unseen battle, she wanted to kill her mother. By the end of our session, she overcame the attack on her mind. At our next session, she reported that all was good with the situation involving her mother that she took offense to.

This book will teach you how to help others fight unseen battles in their lives. Parents will benefit by reading this book, so they can recognize the unseen struggles in their children and help them be victorious. I regret not knowing about unseen battles when I was a parent. I would have been a better parent and better equipped to help my children face the many difficulties in the world.

Do you know where unseen battles come from?

My book reveals the many sources of unseen battles, including the basic tactic of every deception and temptation from:

–Demonic Forces

–Self-centered Pride

–Adversity and Troubles

–Sinful Nature

–Worldliness

–Idolatry

–Unanswered Prayer

You will learn about the biblical authority a believer has to fight against demonic forces and the biblical strategies for victory.

My book is the culmination of the Bible Study materials I prepared for incarcerated women. It is written at a basic, easy-to-understand level with practical how-to applications of God’s truths. I love reading my book because it reminds me of the daily battles we are unaware of and the biblical strategies to be victorious. I know you will be encouraged when you read this book. You will also be equipped to help others and to make disciples as Jesus instructed in Matthew 18:19.

You can find my book on Amazon. I hope you check it out because I know you will be blessed. If you read my book and find it helpful, please leave a review. Also, if you want to do a Bible study with it, email me and ask for a free PDF of the leader’s guide. The PDF will have suggested discussion questions after each section. The scriptures in the endnotes will have quick links, and website links to review supporting material. My contact information is on the Copywrite page.

Thank you to everyone who supports my healing ministry. May God bless you and your family richly in the coming year.

Why Trusting in Idols Bring God’s Judgement.

Making an idol of elected leaders in the church, the community, the country, etc., is a temptation we all struggle with. We think people in positions of power will solve our problems and help us be prosperous. We trust in our physicians and the drugs they prescribe to make us well instead of trusting God to heal us through the physicians and drugs. Do you trust Scientists and think they are all-knowing and know the truth? Why is trusting those with knowledge and power, idolatry? For one thing, God wants us to trust in Him. The Old Testament is full of examples of God’s judgment toward those who did not trust Him but instead turn to powerful people for help.

Here is one example, in 2Chronicles 14, King Asa, the King of Judah, tore down all the idols and places for idol worship in the land of Judah and called the people to worship God. Early in his reign, Judah was threatened by an army of one million men and 300 chariots from Ethiopia. He went out to meet the Ethiopians with nearly 600,000 men. So, King Asa prayed to God for help, and God caused the Ethiopians to flee. Later, in his 36th year, Judah again faces another conquering army, but this time King Asa did not trust God but trusted another King to help him. 2Chronicles 16:7-9 describes what happened.

7) At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him, “Because you relied on the king of Syria, and did not rely on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Syria has escaped you.

8) Were not the Ethiopians and the Libyans a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet because you relied on the LORD, he gave them into your hand. 

9) For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this (not trusting God), for from now on you will have wars.”

Is your heart blameless toward God, and do you turn to God for help first? King Asa became complacent and forgot God, so God allowed a disease to afflict his feet. But instead of seeking the Lord for help, he sought physicians, then he dies. Going to physicians and taking medication is not bad. But trusting the physicians or medications to heal you is idolatry because only God heals. The book of Judges records many accounts of God’s judgment on Israel for worshiping idols.

The New Testament leaders were also idolized. For example, Acts 14:11-15 states,

11) And when the crowds saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in Lycaonian, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!”

12) Barnabas, they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker.

13) And the priest of Zeus, whose temple was at the entrance to the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates and wanted to offer sacrifice with the crowds.

14) But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed out into the crowd, crying out,

15) “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.

We are often tempted to make an idol of our pastors or elders by worshiping them and expecting them to meet our needs. Some pastors fall into the trap of desiring to be idolized and worshiped. So, they take on the burden of providing for the congregations requests. And often when the pastor leaves, the people who idolized him or her find another pastor who will meet their needs instead of trusting God. If the pastor does not meet the needs of those who idolize them, then they often fall away from the faith.

Have you made an idol of a politician or a presidential candidate? Instead of trusting God, do you expect the president you voted for to improve your life? How do you feel when the politician you voted for does not get elected? Do you feel hopeless and depressed?  If so, you have idolized that person.


Conclusion:

Idolatry is all around us, and you unknowingly serve and trust in them. Unseen battles with idolatry can be activities, people, relationships, people’s opinions, riches, fleshly desires, and needs, to name a few. All idols must be removed from your life because they will keep you from entering the kingdom of heaven.

You seek idols when you doubt God will provide what you want or need. But when you submit to God and trust Him, you will experience good. God created us to worship Him only and find our refuge and help in Him, and He is jealous when we trust something else. He created us to look to Him to meet our needs. So, what distracts you from worshiping God or finding refuge in Him during times of trouble? Have the worldly things you trust in given you joy, peace, and life? Though you may have temporary happiness, peace, and feel good, it is still only temporary, then comes the emptiness and depression. Only God’s love and presence can satisfy and give you lasting joy and peace.

RELATED POSTS:

What Will Cause You to Lose Your Inheritance

UNSEEN IDOLS OF EARTHLY SINS AND NEEDS

Idolatry and Soul Ties

Fear God, Not People

POSTS Related to Trusting God

Idolatry and Soul Ties

Dear Friends,

Every living soul has wounds of rejection and will try to get their love-need met by equally wounded people. Wounded people cannot love us as God loves us. So, many of us become or have become sexually involved with a person to feel loved. Sometimes, we are so desperate for love and acceptance we will seek relationships with people we are not compatible with, and who don’t have the same beliefs. When you seek to get your needs met from a relationship instead of seeking God, that is idolatry.

The following Scripture warns against idolatrous relationships with unbelievers. 1Corinthians 15:33 states,“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’” And, 2Corinthians 6:14 tells us, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” To be yoked is to be bound together, much like two horses are harnessed together to pull a carriage. If one horse is old and slow and the other horse is young and fast, they would be unequally yoked. Both horses will get hurt in some way.

Have you ever been unequally yoked? How did it work out? Being in a relationship with unbelievers or worldly Christians is risky because their minds are filled with the false beliefs of the world. Satan knows we are drawn away from our devotion to God and His truth when we become yoked with worldly people. For example, King Solomon’s pagan wives drew him away from his devotion to God by causing him to worship their idols.1 As a consequence, God caused King Solomon to lose his kingdom because he did evil by worshiping idols. Another consequence of being yoked is it creates soul ties.

What are soul ties?

What do you know about soul ties?  The short answer, soul ties, is the knitting of two or more individuals in body, soul, and spirit. Soul ties occur in three ways, emotional, sexual, and spiritual. For an example of an emotional soul tie, read the story of David and Johnathan. 1Samual 18:1 states, “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” The relationship between Jesus and Mary, Lazarus’ sister, is another example of a spiritual soul tie. And, sexual intercourse causes two people to become one flesh, thus creating a soul tie.2

When you have a soul tie with another person, your spirit will be affected by that person’s demonic spirit attachments. For example, I sought love from an unbelieving boyfriend in High School and he forced himself on me. The soul tie with him negatively impacted my marriage to other men until I broke it with a prayer to loose and put it off from my spirit in Jesus’ name. When that soul tie was broken, I felt a release of an oppressive spirit. I felt love for my husband for the first time. I did this with all my past unhealthy relationships. I am now free from a host of negative spiritual, mental, and emotional issues. So, to be free from the control of evil spirits in another person’s life, then the soul ties need to be loosed and put off.

You can be friends with unbelievers and share your testimony with them without forming a soul tie. However, close friendships or partnerships with worldly people or cultural Christians will open you to be influenced by the evil spirits influencing them. For instance, a person who is not devoted to Jesus Christ cannot submit to God and does not resist the devil. So, the devil will control them to do his will, which will negatively impact your life.3 The Apostle Paul explains this in his letter to the Romans:

Romans 8:5-8 states, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6) For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7) For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8) Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. ” For a better understanding of living according to the flesh, read Unseen Battle With The Secular World

How to find fully devoted Christian friends.

You need Christian friends who are fully devoted to God because if they are not, they will negatively influence your relationship with God. You might ask, how do I know if someone is submitted to God? I’m glad you asked. Use the following questions to learn if the person you may want a close relationship with is spiritually mature.

1) Do they talk about God and the Bible, or are they more interested in worldly entertainment and earthly things?

2) Do they display devotion to God, such as going to church, reading and memorizing Scriptures, sharing their faith, serving others, and praying?

3) Do they live like Christ-followers led by the Spirit, or do their lives resemble unbelievers following their sinful flesh?

4) Are they seeking to live holy and pure lives through Christ Jesus? How do they react to hurts, trials, and temptations?

5) Do they show they love God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength by not having any idols in their lives as described in this chapter? Where are their devotions and affections (i.e., spend their time and money?)

6) Do your close friends show love for their neighbors by helping those in need, encouraging them with kind words, etc.?

7) Do they stay in forgiveness, or do they easily take up and hold on to offenses? This question will reveal if they are prideful and have wounds in their soul.

8) Are they thankful, or do they complain?

9) Are your close friends pursuing righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness, and peace?

10)Do they live by faith in Jesus Christ, or do they proudly rely on themselves to be good enough instead of trusting in Jesus Christ?


1. King Solomon and wives: 1Kings 11:1-13.

2. Sexual ties: Ephesians 5:31 and 1Corinthians 6:16.

3. Controlled by the devil: James 4:7 and 2Timothy 2:26.

Grace and peace to you,

Joyce


RELATED POSTS:

Fear God, Not People

Breaking Childhood Rejection and Insignificance Strongholds.

Are Your Relationships Improving Your Well-Being?

Healthy Boundaries for Toxic Emotions and People


All verses are from the English Standard Bible. If you find my posts and website helpful, please share the links with your friends and family, hopeforcompletehealing.com. The information is copyright protected, and no part of the posts or my book may be reproduced without proper citation to Joyce Hanscom.

Check out my first book on Amazon. I would love to hear what you think.

If you read my book and find it helpful, please leave a review. Also, if you want to do a Bible study with it, email me and ask for a free PDF of the leader’s guide. The PDF will have suggested discussion questions after each section. Quick links to all the scriptures in the endnotes for you to review or to copy and paste into your notes. Website links to review supporting material. Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com

Contact me at hopeforcompletehealing@gmail.com, and ask for a PDF of Eight Prayers from the Bible. The prayers are for the Spirit of wisdom, renewal, spiritual strength, knowledge of His will, virtues of God, non-believers, 23rd Psalm, and victory. I will also send you the Lord’s Prayer Model to pray effectively. Please leave your name, so I know you are a real person making the request.

Fear God, Not People

Dear Friends,

King Solomon shares the following wisdom in Proverbs 19:21-23.Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. 22) What is desired in a man is steadfast love, and a poor man is better than a liar. 23) The fear of the LORD leads to life, and whoever has it rests satisfied; he will not be visited by harm.” Proverbs 29:25 states, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”

In the 2020 election, people fear that the country will be destroyed if either presidential candidate is elected. DO NOT BE AFRAID! Fear is a bondage that will cause physiological stress on your body, which will make you sick. LOOK UP and find peace and rest in God’s ability to fulfill his purpose for you and our country. The fear of God is to reverence and trust Him, that His purpose and judgment will prevail in our country, no matter who is president.

If you fear or show reverence to the Lord, you will be free to not fear the future because no harm will visit you. We may have troubles, but that will not harm us, but help us grow in our faith in God’s provision and protection. If you don’t fear God but instead fear for the future of our country, then you will NOT rest satisfied, and your fear will invite the devil to harm you. See my post called “How the Devil Causes Trouble

I wrote in my post called “Are you a sheep or a goat?” that love is the defining term of a true Christian, who loves those who do not believe as they believe. In verse 22, King Solomon tells us that steadfast love and truth are to be desired in your life, so seek to love and speak the truth to everyone you meet. Another action of a true Christian is to fear God. People who fear and trust God will be content with whatever happens in this election because their eyes are on God not the concerning circumstances.

In my last post, I explained that you can lose your heavenly inheritance by having idols in your life, even unseen idols. In this post, I will reveal how you can make activities and people into idols when you do not fear or trust God. Idols are often called vanities, or vain things. Jonah 2:8 states, “Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love (of God).” Idols are lying vanities, as opposed to the living and true God because they are imaginary and are powerless to help you. So, putting your confidence in idols is vain.

Idolatry of Activities

You can identify unseen idols by evaluating where you spend excessive time and effort; even ministry can be an idol, or gardening, or blogging. Ouch, I stepped on my own toes. I can give specifics, but we are each tempted in different ways to serve unseen idols of activities. So, ask God to show you what controls your life? Remember, an idol is anything that draws you away from your love and devotion to God and people. Idols could be your work, hobbies, sports, TV, movies, books, social media, video games, pets, alcohol, drugs, food, etc. How do you spend your time and energy that then keeps you from spending time with God? Raising children doesn’t count because that is a God-given purpose. Even if you’re busy caring for your children and home, you can fill your home and car with praise music or scripture reading while performing your tasks.

Idolatry of People

How do people become unseen idols? A celebrity becomes an idol when you get your identity and a sense of belonging from them. Our loved ones become idols for the same reasons, plus, you expect them to love and accept you unconditionally. Yes, you want people to love and accept you, but they cannot meet your expectations because they cannot love you the way you want. Only God can meet your need for love, acceptance, identity, and belonging; all other sources are idols in your life. Why do you idolize people? To hopefully get something from them.

People are foolish to make idols of the presidential candidates. They worship their candidate and think their candidate will make their lives better. People, especially politicians, make the worst idols because they will let you down and will not meet your expectations most of the time. Plus, people make the worst idols because they are sinners.

People also make idols of pastors and other spiritual leaders. You know those who have made the pastor or spiritual leader an idol when they leave the church when the spiritual leader leaves or fails to give them what they are looking for. They had no interest in loving God and loving people.

Conclusion:

God’s purposes for you and this country will prevail. We can trust God to always love us and provide the things we need. Trusting the government is foolish. So to, people and activities will let you down eventually because they cannot meet your expectations. Fear God and worship Him only, love others, and be truthful and you will be satisfied, and no harm will come near you. Above all, do not fear the future, only fear God as the judge of the world.

Grace and peace to you,

Joyce

Related Posts:

HOW FEAR CONTROLS YOU!

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

What is Wrong with Fairness?

What Is Required to Stand Before God?

How We Know God Will Never Forsake Us?

Pt. 2: Why You Can and Cannot Trust God? 

Are you in control of your life?

Know Your Purpose?

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