I am so incredibly grateful for the promises of God.
They encourage me when I’m weak, strengthen me when I’m weary, and refresh me when I’m dry. The promises of God truly are my spiritual lifeblood. They connect me to God and fuel my faith in him.
But here’s the thing…
The promises of God ONLY benefit me if I remember them and apply them to my life. In other words, I must apprehend the promises of God and believe that they are mine in Christ.
In order to help both me and you do that, I’ve compiled 10 glorious promises of God, and then written a few short words on how we might apply each one to our lives.
May your heart be incredibly encouraged as you savor these promises.
Promise of God #1: Psalm 13:5
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation (Psalm 13:5).
God’s love for us is steadfast, immoveable, unshakeable, and unchangeable. Nothing can ever stop him from loving you at 100% max capacity. He has saved you out of darkness, made you his child, and promised to bless you abundantly in Christ. Because of this, you can exult in and rejoice in the staggering, glorious salvation of God.
Promise of God #2: Zephaniah 3:17
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing (Zephaniah 3:17).
Listen carefully. Do you hear that? God is exulting over us with loud singing! Do you believe that God exults and rejoices over you? We fill God with great gladness. When we are in turmoil and overwhelmed, he quiets us with his love.
And when we need his deliverance (ALWAYS!), he is the mighty one who saves. What a sweet promise of God. The Lord himself is in our midst.
Promise of God #3: Romans 8:38-39
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, that can separate us from the incredible, overwhelming, staggeringly powerful love of God. Even if all the angel armies of heaven were arrayed against us, it couldn’t separate us from the love God.
Neither your current circumstances, nor circumstances to come can break God’s invincible love for us. In fact, there is nothing in ALL of creation, including death itself, that can remove us from God’s invincible love. Doesn’t this promise of God encourage you?
Promise of God #4: 1 John 3:1
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1).
How much does God love us? So much so that he adopted us and calls us his beloved children. And because we are beloved children of God, we also have an inheritance from God. Amazingly, we share in Christ’s inheritance!
Is there any other love so deep or high or wide? Christ lived, died, and rose again so that God could bring us into his forever family. Hold fast to this glorious promise of God.
Promise of God #5: 1 John 4:10
In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10).
I’m so incredibly grateful for this promise of God. We don’t have to earn God’s love. We don’t have to work our way into God’s love. Rather, God proved his love by sending Jesus to take the wrath of God in our place. That’s what it means that he is a propitiation for our sins. On the cross, Jesus took the wrath that we deserve.
Is there any greater proof of God’s love? He gave up his son for us. He poured out his furious wrath for sin upon Jesus instead of us. This promise of God should cause to overflow with gratefulness and thanksgiving.
Promise of God #6: Romans 8:31
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).
Is there anything sweeter than knowing that God is absolutely, 100% for us? He is the King of Kings, the creator of the universe, the one who holds all things together. And amazingly, he is completely for us.
If God is for us, is there anything that can stand against us? Is there any circumstance greater than God? Is there any person who can thwart God’s will for us? Is there anything at all in all of creation that can stand against the living God? No! And all of God’s omnipotent power is for us. What a glorious promise of God.
Promise of God #7: Romans 8:32
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32)
Is there anything more precious to God than his son, Jesus? No. And yet he was willing to sacrifice his precious son on our behalf. How incredibly valuable we are to God that he would make such a sacrifice!
If he was willing to sacrifice his own son for us, is there anything he will withhold from us? If he was willing to give up what was most precious to him, will he hold back anything good from us? Never! We can be assured that if something is good for us, God will absolutely give it to us. Why? Because he has already given up the thing that is so precious to him.
Promise of God #8: Matthew 10:29-31
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows (Matthew 10:29-31).
If God cares about the sparrows – little birds that were sold for just a penny – does he not care infinitely more for us? If God numbers every hair upon our heads, does he not know exactly what we need at any given moment? Yes, he does.
We are of infinitely greater value to God than the sparrows. And so if God cares that much about sparrows, we can be assured that he cares infinitely more about every circumstance we face and every challenge we encounter. He will take care of us. God will provide for all our needs.
Promise of God #9: 2 Thessalonians 3:3
But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
He has promised to establish us and guard. He will establish us in his goodness. In his mercy. In his faithfulness. In his blessings. And if the Lord has promised to establish us, can anything thwart his plans. As he establishes us, he will guard us against the evil one. He will protect from all that would try to come against us.
Promise of God #10: Psalms 93:5
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him (Psalm 30:5).
All of these promises are 100% true and we can throw ourselves upon them entirely. Every single word will prove true, and nothing can stop God from fulfilling his promises to us.
God’s promises are so trustworthy that they are a shield to us. We can take refuge in his promises, hope in them, trust in them, rest completely in them. When Satan throws fiery darts at us, the promises of God shield us from them.
The sacred promises, though in themselves most sure and precious, are of no avail for the comfort and sustenance of the soul unless you grasp them by faith, plead them in prayer, expect them by hope, and receive them with gratitude
If we want these promises to comfort, strengthen, and sustain us, we must grasp them by faith, plead them in prayer, expect them by hope, and receive them with gratitude.
When we do those things, the promises of God become incredibly sweet to us.
Hold fast to the promises of God. They’re unshakeable.
What is the first thing that comes to your mind? God’s power? His vastness? His wrath? His sovereign rule over all things? His holiness? His hatred of sin?
If you were able to ask God to describe himself, what do you think he would say? “I am the One who created all things. I am the one who runs the universe. I am exalted above the heavens.”
In Exodus 33, Moses meets with God and asks him to show him his glory. And God essentially says, “You can’t look directly upon my majesty and splendor and glory because it would be too much for you. You cannot look directly on my face, “for man shall not see me and live.”
But look at what God does say to Moses:
Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The LORD.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the LORD said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 2Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” Exodus 33:18-23
God says, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and I will proclaim my name. I will pass by you in my glory, then I will take away my hand and you will get a glimpse of my back – you will see something of my glory.” So then in Exodus 34 God does the 2 things he said he would do: he proclaims his name to Moses and causes his goodness to pass in front of Moses.
The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” EX 34.5-7
First God says his NAME: “The Lord, the Lord.” God could have then said, “Moses, you want to know who I am: I am the LORD.” That’s who I am, that’s all you need to know.
But we are more that just our names.
If you asked me who is that friend of yours? I could say, “That is Tim.” That is his name. But each one of us is so much more than just a name. If you asked me, Who is your friend Tim? I would say Tim is a wonderful husband and grandfather. He made an incredible tree house for his grandkids to enjoy. He is a servant. He visits people when they are sick. He loves God’s word. He gets up early in the morning and reads God’s word on a regular basis. He goes the local personal care home and serves people there. He is really humble and gentle. And not only that but loves carve wood and make furniture. He makes beautiful gifts out of wood for people. And he enjoys hunting. And he’s really funny too.”
We are more than just our names. Hopefully when people hear our names, good things come to their minds. Well, the Lord proclaimed his name to Moses, the LORD. But then he said “Moses, this is who I am: I AM A GOOD GOD:
a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
Notice, God didn’t say, I am Almighty, all-powerful, I am Holy and Majestic and Glorious, I can crush the whole universe like a bug under my foot if I want to. I control all things, I rule all things. I am infinitely great. God could have said those things and he would not have been lying.
But instead God said: I am merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin
These are the things God emphasized about himself. He is GOOD. Now this doesn’t mean he simply overlooks sin, for he added: but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
God says I won’t just clear the guilty who will not repent. We can’t just do whatever we want with no consequences. And sometimes our sins can affect our children and descendants. God says sometimes to the third and fourth generation.
But notice he said “keeping steadfast love for thousands.” The Berean study Bible interprets this as “maintaining loving devotion to a thousand generations.”
When God revealed himself to Moses he emphasized that he is GOOD: merciful, gracious, slow to anger, ABOUNDING in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love (twice he says steadfast love) for thousands (or a thousand generations), forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin. The puritan Thomas Watson says:
“God is more inclinable to mercy than wrath. Mercy is his darling attribute, which he most delights in. Mic 7:18. Mercy pleases him…. Acts of severity are rather forced from God; he does not afflict willingly. Lam 3:33. The bee naturally gives honey, it stings only when it is provoked; so God does not punish till he can bear no longer. ‘So that the Lord could bear no longer, because of the evil of your doings.’ Jer 44:22. Mercy is God’s right hand that he is most used to; inflicting punishment is called his strange work. Isa 28:21.” – Thomas Watson
Look at what Micah says about the Lord:
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. Micah 7:18
God “delights in steadfast love.” He does not delight in punishing people. He does not delight in exercising his wrath and anger. Jeremiah says in Lamentations:
For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men. Lamentations 3:31-33
God takes no pleasure in afflicting us. “He does not afflict from his heart or grieve the children of men.” Sometimes God causes grief, but he waits to “have compassion” because of “the abundance of his steadfast love.” God would rather pour out blessings than afflict us.
God’s mercy means that in his compassion and sympathy and patience and longsuffering toward us, he doesn’t give us what we deserve.
Mercy “denotes the ready inclination of God to relieve the misery of fallen creatures. Thus, ‘mercy’ presupposes sin.” A.W. Pink
In other words, when we sin, we often bring misery upon ourselves, but God’s inclination is to show us mercy and relieve our misery. He doesn’t owe us mercy. He would be completely righteous to strike us down immediately when we sin. But he is so forbearing and patient, he continues to bless us. Look how Psalm 103 describes God’s overflowing goodness:
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Psalm 103:3-4, 8-14
I like what David Hocking says:
When you come to the Lord, you are not coming to somebody who is sitting with a baseball bat ready to club you for every false move. The Bible teaches that His essential nature and character is mercy. Mercy holds back from us what we really deserve. –David Hocking
When you are sick and lying on your bed, you do not want somebody coming in and discussing thirty-two reasons why you deserve what you are getting. –David Hocking
God’s mercy and compassion means he FEELS FOR US, he has sympathy toward us.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
Jesus has been through every temptation we have been through (without sin) – so he knows what it’s like. He knows how hard it is. He knows weakness.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
God is not like the uncaring psychologist, Dr. Switzer, played by Bob Newhart: https://bit.ly/KG1MTw
Since God is so merciful to us, we should be merciful to others.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7
Because God is merciful, he forgives us. Because God forgives us, we should forgive others. Jesus illustrated this brilliantly in the story of the servant who begged his master to forgive his debt of ten thousand talents, and when the master forgave him, went out and would not forgive a fellow servant of a miniscule debt of a few hundred denarii. Jesus finished the story by saying:
Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:21-35
When we contemplate God’s goodness and mercy to us, it should produce in us first of all GRATITUDE to God
Contemplating God’s goodness to us should produce LOVE FOR GOD
And contemplating his mercy to us should make us MERCIFUL TO OTHERS
We don’t want to be like the ungrateful servant whose master forgave him a massive debt but would not forgive the tiny debt of his fellow servant.
God has forgiven us a MASSIVE DEBT – He washed away all our sins by the blood of Jesus. He should have condemned us to eternal hell for our sins, but in his compassion toward us he forgave us, gave us eternal life, then adopted us as his own children and gave us a share in the very inheritance of Jesus. So we should forgive and be merciful to anyone who sins against us.
Let’s contemplate the way the Lord described himself to Moses. How he caused all his GOODNESS to pass before Moses. Let us gaze upon God’s goodness today and give him thanks. And let us seek to imitate our merciful, compassionate God in our relationships with others.
Why do we need to read the Bible? Why do we need to go to church and hear someone teach us from the Bible? Why do we need this formal religion stuff? Can’t we can just go for a walk in the woods and look at nature, or look up at the stars? Isn’t that all we need to do to know about God?
Have you ever thought like that? I mean, after all, churches are messy. Someone said to me recently, “Church would be great if it weren’t for the people.” Half-joking, but half-true. Jesus saves messed up people and transforms them over time. When we turn to Jesus Christ for salvation, he forgives our sins and washes us in his cleansing blood. But he doesn’t make us like himself instantly. He begins a lifetime process of making us into our likeness, teaching us to trust him, to put sin to death, to obey him. We are sons and daughters of God, but we still have many weaknesses and areas we need to change. We’re messy. We need to bear with each other.
We especially need God’s word. It is in Scripture where God reveals who he is, what he is like, his plan for salvation. We cannot know God apart from his word. We cannot know him simply by observing nature. It is true we can know SOME things about God by looking at the creation, as it says in Scripture:
For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. RO 1.19-20
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19.1
We can clearly see some things about God by looking at sequoia trees or gazing into the Grand Canyon, or watching lunar eclipse or looking at Saturn through a telescope. We can see that God is powerful. We can see “his eternal power and divine nature.” We can see there is a divine being who made all this and that he has incredible power. We can see something of his glory as we observe his handiwork. So we are “without excuse” if we deny there is a God.
I can go for a walk in the woods and see God’s glory in the majestic trees. As a red-tailed hawk flies overhead. As a black snake slithers in front of me. But there are so many things about God I cannot see in the woods or on the edge of the ocean.
Here are things 15 things the Bible reveals about God that we could never know by looking at nature:
Revelation #1: God exists as a Trinity
There is no way for us to see that there is one God who exists as 3 persons by observing nature. We only know this from Scripture:
Then God (singular) said, “Let us (plural) make man in our image, after our likeness. Genesis 1:26
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28.19
Jesus didn’t say to baptize in the NAMES (plural) of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. But in the NAME (singular). There is one God who exists as 3 persons. The Father is God, Jesus is God and the Spirit is God, yet there are not 3 Gods but only 1.
Revelation #2: There is only one God
We can know there is only one God through the Bible
Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. Isaiah 44:6
The galaxies can’t guarantee there is only one God. That’s why the nations created thousands of gods. The only way we can be certain there is one God is because the Bible assures us.
Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:8
Revelation #3: The Father is God
One God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:6
We could never know that God is a Father but for Scripture.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” Galatians 4:6
Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…” Matthew 6:9
We cannot know that God is a loving Father who loves to bless his children by looking at a sunset or an oak tree. Only does the Bible reveal him as “Father.”
We can only know this through the word of God.
Revelation #4: Jesus is God
But of the Son he says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. Hebrews 1:8
Waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, Titus 2:13
If you climbed to the top of Mount Everest, as awesome as that would be, you would never know that Jesus is God. Nature cannot reveal what only Scripture can.
Revelation #5: The Spirit is God
3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” Acts 5:3-4
Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit. He lied not to man but to God.
As Romans says, we can see God’s power through the creation. But we can’t know there is a personal Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, through nature.
Revelation #6: The Good News of Salvation
We could never know all God did to save us by observing the galaxies. We could never know that Jesus Christ, God the Son became a man, lived a sinless life of perfect obedience to the Father, then personally paid for our sins when he was crucified, then rose from the dead and ascended into heaven.
He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5
A redwood forest can’t tell me I need to have my sins washed away. The Scottish highlands can’t tell me I need to be saved. Only God’s word can reveal this to us.
Revelation #7: God is Faithful
Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations… Deuteronomy 7:9
…great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:23
We could hope that God is faithful, but in itself, the world offers no certainty. We have no way of knowing for sure if we will have good weather or the land will produce crops. The only way to be certain God will provide for us and protect us is through his Word.
Revelation #7: God is Always Completely Truthful
If we have no Scripture, we have no idea that God has ever even said anything, let alone that he is truthful. Yet the Bible is full of promises and guarantees us that God’s word is true.
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23.19
Revelation #8: God is Sovereign
How can we know that God is in control of every molecule in the universe? How can we know that there is a God who has plans for our lives and will fulfill them? Only through the Bible. If we look at nature alone, we might assume that God is not in control. How does a Tsunami or a hurricane tell us God is in control of all things? Nature would tell us things are out of anyone’s control.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Revelation #9: God has good plans for us
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
What can we see in the world that assures us that God has good plans for us?
Revelation #10: God is Holy
A majestic oak tree can tell us there is a powerful Creator, but it cannot tell us that God is holy in his majesty. That he will not allow sin into his presence. That he will punish sin. A majestic mountain does not tell us of our need for a Savior to save us from the wrath of a holy God and impart his own holiness to us.
“Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Leviticus 19:2
Isaiah, the holy prophet of God, had no idea of how holy God was until God pulled back the curtain and showed a glimpse of his holiness to him:
And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” Revelation 4:8
Revelation #11: God is Omniscient or all-knowing
The ocean, filled with amazing creatures and the heavens above, filled with stars and galaxies definitely suggests there must be a God who knows how to create these things. But all the galaxies in the universe can’t demonstrate that God knows every thought of every single person who ever lived, that God knows the beginning from the end of the universe, that God knows every heartbeat and every breath we breathe.
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13
Revelation #12: God is omnipresent – God is present everywhere
The universe certainly declares that there is an almighty being. But he might have just created it then left the scene. Creation declares God’s power, but God’s word assures us who believe in Jesus that he is always with us at all times, no matter where we are or what we are going through.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. Isaiah 43.2
Revelation #13: God is Loving
We might assume there is a loving God when we enjoy his blessings in this life. Family, friends, vacations, food on the table. But what do we believe when we get sick or a house burns down or a tornado sweeps through the state? We can only be assured God is loving from his word.
Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; Lamentations 3:22
Revelation #14: God is good
Just as God’s blessings point to his being loving, so do they point to God’s goodness. But again, when we go through affliction and pain, nature doesn’t say, “God is good.” We can only know that through Scripture:
The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. Psalm 145.9
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! Psalm 34.8
Revelation #15: God is righteous and Just
When the Bible says God is righteous, it means he always does the right thing. God’s righteousness has to do with how he treats us. He will never mistreat us. How can we know this from looking at Saturn? I can tell God is incredibly creative and powerful to keep those rings rotating around that planet, but what can that tell me about how God will treat me? How he will eventually administer complete justice in the earth? Only God’s word can assure us that God will always do the right thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. Psalm 145.17
God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. Psalm 7:11
The creation reveals that there is an eternally powerful creator. But God is so infinitely glorious, that the creation itself is incapable of revealing all God’s glory. But God has given us so much knowledge of himself in his Word. That is why we need to take God’s word in, meditate on it, and delight in our God through it.
Let me be totally honest for a moment. I don’t experience the joy of the Lord very often.
When the Bible talks about the joy of the Lord being my strength, I have a hard time relating to it.
I think a lot of it has to do with my personality. I struggle with depression and anxiety, both of which make me see the world through grey tinged glasses.
But I want to experience the joy of the Lord, and I’m convinced that God wants me to experience it as well. As David said in Psalm 34:4:
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.
David said that God was his exceeding joy. I too, want God to be my exceeding joy. I want the joy of the Lord to be my strength.
Of course, all this raises the question: how can I grow in the joy of the Lord?
What Is The Joy Of The Lord?
Let’s make sure we’re all on the same page regarding the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord is not primarily a feeling of happiness. It’s not some sort of Zen feeling. It’s not the warm fuzzy feeling you get when watching “The Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross.
In other words, the joy of the Lord isn’t primarily a feeling. If it was, then it would be impossible to experience it in moments of grief or in the depths of trials.
No, the joy of the Lord is much more sturdy and unbreakable.
Ultimately, this joy comes from Jesus himself. I experience the joy of the Lord specifically because I am united to Jesus Christ.
As John Piper says:
The reason your joy can now be as full as it is and moving toward perfect fullness when all our battle with sin is over is because in union with me, the branch in the vine, you no longer enjoy merely your joy. You now have my joy in you and you enjoy what I enjoy as your joy, as you abide in me.
This joy of the Lord is my strength, and it works itself out in very practical ways in my life.
The joy of the Lord is the firm, unshakeable conviction that God loves me, is for 100% for me, and is working everything for my good.
It is the unbendable belief that God is my Father, and that he loves me more deeply than I could possibly imagine.
It is the rock-solid belief that God is with me, even as I walk through fiery trials and deep waters.
However, all this still leaves me with the critically important question: how do I experience and grow in the joy of the Lord?
The Joy Of The Lord Is My Strength: 5 Methods For Growing In The Joy Of The Lord
If the joy of the Lord comes specifically from Jesus, then it follows that the primary way I grow in the joy of the Lord is by deepening my fellowship with Jesus. In other words, the more closely I am connected to Christ, the more consistently I’ll experience God’s joy.
How do I stay closely connected to Christ?
1. Experience The Joy Of The Lord Through Prayer
Prayer is my lifeline to Jesus. Through prayer, I come to the throne of grace and there I meet Jesus himself. Jesus gives me exactly what I need in every struggle and trial and battle. When I come to the throne of grace, I am filled with the joy of the Lord that is my strength.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
I’m so profoundly grateful that Jesus not only invites me to the throne of grace, but he commands me to come to him. Jesus wants me to experience the true, lasting joy that only he can give. And so he calls me to come running to him.
Write out your prayer requests; don’t mindlessly drift through life on the American narcotic of busyness. If you try to seize the day, the day will eventually break you. Seize the corner of his garment and don’t let go until he blesses you. He will reshape the day.
If I want to experience the joy of the Lord that is my strength, I must seize the corner of Jesus’ garment. I must cling to him through prayer, asking him to reshape my day and give me his overwhelming, satisfying joy.
2. Experience The Joy Of The Lord Through God’s Word
Again and again throughout Scripture, God’s word held forth as a primary source of the joy of the Lord. As David says in Psalm 119:14-16:
In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
Why did David delight so much in God’s word? Why did he treat it as more valuable than even the greatest of riches? Because in God’s word he met God himself, and when he met God he experienced the sweet joy of the Lord.
It was in and through God’s word that he discovered God has his “exceeding joy”.
If I want to be able to say, “The joy of the Lord is my strength,” then I need to go to the fountain where that joy is found. I need to immerse myself in God’s word. To drink deeply of it and savor the fellowship with God I experience through it.
3. Experience The Joy Of The Lord Through The Holy Spirit
…have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Paul prayed that the Ephesians would have the supernatural strength required to comprehend the staggering heights and depths of the love of Christ. He wanted the Ephesians to be filled with ALL the fullness of God.
In other words, he wanted them to experience the joy of the Lord.
How could the Ephesians (and I) know God on such a deep, profound level? How could they possibly comprehend the height and depth and breadth of the love of Christ? How could they be filled with all the fullness of God?
Only by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the one who reveals Christ to us. The Spirit opens our eyes so that we can comprehend the glorious things to which we’ve been called.
And when the Spirit opens our eyes, we truly are filled with the overwhelming joy of the Lord. How can we not be overflowing with joy when we truly understand the great salvation to which we’ve been called? How can we not be bursting with joy when we’re filled with all the fullness of God.
The joy of the Lord is my strength, and I experience that joy through the power of the Holy Spirit. If I want to experience more joy, I simply need to ask the Spirit to reveal more of Christ to me.
4. Experience The Joy Of The Lord By Meditating On The Character of God
Lamentations 3:21-23 says, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
How do I experience hope, which is another form of the joy of the Lord? By intentionally calling to mind and meditating upon the character of God. On the flip side, if I don’t call to mind the character of God, I will be sorely lacking hope.
This passage is a beautiful reminder of who God is. He is steadfast and his love never ceases. Every morning he pours out new, fresh mercies that are custom tailored for the day. He is always, 100% faithful in everything he does. There is never a moment when God isn’t faithful to me.
When I call these things to mind, I am filled with hope and the joy of the Lord that is my strength. I am encouraged to keep pressing on in God. I’m reminded that God is 100% on my side and that nothing can ever change that.
5. Experience The Joy Of The Lord By Meditating On The Gospel
In Luke 7:47, Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Few things create more joy than meditating upon the staggering blessings I’ve received in and through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Think about it with me for a moment.
Every one of my sins, past, present, and future has been paid for in full.
There is no judgment left for me, only mercy.
I am an adopted son of God and will receive an inheritance from God.
I have been freed from the power of sin and now have power to obey.
I call God, “Abba, Father,” and have an intimate relationship with him.
I am part of God’s forever family and uniquely joined to his people.
I have life everlasting and will eventually experience the new heavens and new earth.
And so much more…
In Christ, I have blessing after sacred blessing. The gospel truly is a fountain of joy. When I drink from the fountain of the gospel, I experience the joy of the Lord that is my strength.
Why should Christians be such a happy people? It is good for our God; it gives him honor among men when we are glad. It is good for us; it makes us strong. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh. 8:10). It is good for the ungodly; when they see Christians glad, they long to be believers themselves. It is good for our fellow Christians; it comforts them and tends to cheer them.
I want to honor God by being a happy Christian. When people see me full of the joy of the Lord, it ultimately points them to God, who is the source of all true joy.
The joy of the Lord is my strength, and I want to experience that joy consistently.
To seek the Lord means to turn to God, to desire to be in a relationship with him, and to come into his presence for fulfillment, strength and help. But before we can ever begin to seek him, God must do something first in our lives. Because if left to ourselves, we would never seek the Lord. He tells us in Romans:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12
As fallen humans we do seek. We seek happiness, fulfillment, success, and as many of this world’s pleasures as we can get. But we don’t seek these things from God. We don’t seek to find happiness and fulfillment in him. We can’t imagine that God can offer us any kind of pleasure or joy.
That is why God sought us out first. Why would God want a relationship with us who rejected him, spit in his face, broke his laws, and had no interest in him? He needed nothing from us. From all eternity he was complete and lacked nothing. He didn’t need us to make him happy. Yet he created us to know him and find joy and satisfaction in him.
But we didn’t want God’s joy or a relationship with him. Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, so they ate the forbidden fruit. The human race fell into sin and darkness and deception. And from that time on, humans have looked to anything and everything but God for satisfaction and joy.
Before We Seek The Lord, The Lord Seeks Us Out
We had nothing to offer him. But God sent his Son to bring us to himself. As Jesus said to Zacchaeus,
“Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:9-10
And God said in Ezekiel:
As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness. Ezekiel 34.12
And Jesus said in John:
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. John 10:16
The only reason we seek the Lord is because Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
He sought us first. If we have any desire to seek God it is because he first worked in our hearts.
What Does It Mean To Seek The Lord?
It means to seek his presence. To desire a relationship with him. To come to him for help.
Why should we seek the Lord? Because we are lacking, weak and needy. We seek him to give us something, to help us.
What Do We Seek From The Lord?
First of all, we seek the Lord for salvation, forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
We can’t save ourselves. The word “save” implies we are in danger or enslaved and need to be rescued. Before we turn to Jesus to save us, we are in danger of eternal destruction in hell. We are under God’s judgment for our sins against him. And we can’t save ourselves. We can’t wash ourselves clean. We are in danger of God’s punishment and wrath for our rebellion. But Jesus came to save us from these dangers by taking our sins upon himself and receiving the wrath of God for them upon the cross.
When we seek the Lord to save us, we call upon him to forgive us and wash away our sins not because of anything we do but because of all that Jesus did. But even after Jesus saves us, we still need to seek him on a regular basis. Here are some other things we need to seek him for.
We Seek The Lord’s Presence
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah Psalm 24:6
To seek the Lord’s face is to seek his presence. To seek his presence means to seek a vibrant, personal relationship with God.
We Seek The Lord For Wisdom
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, Proverbs 3:13
Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. Proverbs 4:5
We need the very wisdom of God to live a life that pleases him. We need God’s wisdom to avoid sin and temptation. And if we ask him for it, he promises to give it to us.
We Seek The Lord For His Guidance
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
You guide me with Your counsel, and later receive me in glory. Psalm 73:24
We Seek The Lord For Strength
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually! Psalm 105:4
But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their strength in time of trouble. NASB
We Seek The Lord For Joy
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Romans 15:13
We See The Lord For Peace And Deliverance
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?…Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”Psalm 27:1, 7-8
We seek the Lord for help and strength and grace to love the unlovable. We seek the Lord for grace to love our spouse and children. We seek the Lord for direction in life.
How Do We See The Lord?
Do we go out in the woods and wait for a sign? Do we flip a coin and say, “Heads, I try to find a job; tails I keep living at home with Dad and Mom for the rest of my life.” Here are several ways the Bible tells us to seek the Lord.
Bible Intake (reading and listening to Scripture)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16
Reading the Bible is the starting place for seeking the Lord. God speaks to us, leads us, guides us, and reveals his heart to us through his word. He tells us how to live in a way that pleases him. He tells us what he is like; his mind, his standards, his love for us. Try to cultivate a habit of spending time in God’s word on a regular basis.
Jesus encourages us to seek the Lord in prayer:
“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 the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-11
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
Listen to solid Bible teaching and preaching
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16
Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2
Read solid Bible-based books, blogs and articles. When we listen to preaching or read books on doctrine, we are seeking God through his word contained in those sources, and God will speak to us through preaching and books. We must remember though, that only God’s word is inspired by God. The role of the preacher or writer is to unpack the meaning of God’s word so we might understand it better, and to apply it to our lives. Sermons and books can really help us to seek God, but we always must remember that only the Word of God is inspired and infallible.
Fellowship with other believers
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16
When we go to a fellowship group or a bible study, we are seeking the Lord. God will encourage us through one another. He causes his word to dwell in us as we worship together and teach one another.
But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:16-18
So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty. Ezra 8:23
Then I turned my face to the Lord God, seeking him by prayer and pleas for mercy with fasting and sackcloth and ashes. Daniel 9:3
Jesus said fasting was a way to be “seen” or heard by our Father. A way to pray to him and seek him. Daniel specifically says he was seeking the Lord God with fasting, along with his prayers and pleas. I believe the Lord will honor any fast we do, even if we only skip one meal.
Seek God in faith
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:6
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
We do not seek the Lord in vain. God hears our prayers. Our heavenly Father cares for us and loves us. He wants us to draw near with confidence, with faith. When we seek God it is never in vain.
Seek him today. If you have never turned to Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, seek him and he will save you and give you eternal life. If you are seeking him for your children or your future or for joy in him, know that we never seek the Lord in vain. He hears your prayers and will answer them in his perfect timing and perfect way.
I am so incredibly grateful that there are dozens of Bible verses about God’s love.
Because honestly, there are times when I’m tempted to doubt that God loves me. When I see my weaknesses and failures and sins, I can think, Why would God ever love me?
Can you relate?
In those moments we need to be reminded of how high and wide and deep God’s love is. We need to remember the lengths he went to save us. We need to meditate upon the staggering profundity of God’s love.
To help you do just that, I’ve compiled 13 glorious Bible verses about God’s love. Meditate on them. Think deeply about them. Give thanks to God for his overwhelming love.
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him (1 John 4:16)
Ponder this for a moment: God. Is. Love.
At the core of his being, he is love itself, and that love overflows to YOU. If you are in Christ, you are so deeply loved by God that you can’t even comprehend it. In fact, God loves you so much that he has literally chosen to abide in you. You are a temple of the Holy Spirit.
Do you need any greater proof that God loves you? He IS love, and God’s love for you is intense, overwhelming, and never ceasing.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #2: 1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love (1 John 4:18).
God’s love for you is a perfect love. It’s a love so deep, an ocean so endless, that you can never exhaust it. God loves you with such a profound love that it drives out fear.
You don’t need to fear being punished by God. Because he loves you, he already punished Jesus on the cross for all your sins. You can come to the throne of grace freely, knowing that you’ll experience the love and grace and mercy of God.
If you are in Christ, there is no punishment or wrath remaining. It was all placed upon Christ. All that is left for you is God’s love.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #3: Ephesians 2:4-5
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved… (Ephesians 2:4-5)
You were dead in your trespasses and sins, unable and unwilling to love God. You were an enemy of God, a slave to sin, and completely unable to save yourself. But God’s love is stronger than even your worst sins.
Because of God’s great love for you, he made you spiritually alive in Christ. He breathed spiritual life into you when you were a spiritual corpse.
Why would God do such a thing? Why would he transform an enemy into his beloved child? God’s love doesn’t always make sense, does it? But you can be sure of this: he really, really loves you.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #4: Psalm 103:11
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him… (Psalm 103:11)
David is reaching and stretching to find adequate words to describe God’s love. His steadfast love is higher than heavens are above the earth. God’s love for you is so vast, so massive, that the David must to the solar system to describe it.
The distance between Earth and Jupiter may be vast, but God’s love for you is even greater. You can’t escape the love of God, can’t come to the end of it, can’t exhaust it.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #5: Jeremiah 31:3
I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you (Jeremiah 31:3).
Do you believe that God has loved you with an everlasting love? Before you were even formed in the womb, he set his love upon you. When you were born, God loved and delighted in you. And every day since, God has not stopped loving you with the same incredible, breath taking love.
Because God loves you so much, he has been and will continue to be faithful to you. Hasn’t God always been faithful to you? Hasn’t he always cared and provided for you? It’s because God loves you with an everlasting, beginning-to-end, ceaseless love.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #6: John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
How much does God love you? So much that he gave his only Son for you. He wanted you to have eternal life so much that he was willing to sacrifice his precious, beloved Son.
Now, when you believe in the Son, God rejoices and gives you eternal life. You get to enjoy the presence of God forever.
Would you give up one of your children? I know that I certainly never could. And yet that’s the staggering power of God’s love. It is so deep, so wide, so powerful, that it motivated him to sacrifice his Son on your behalf. God’s love for you is so far beyond your comprehension!
Bible Verse About God’s Love #7: 1 John 3:1
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are (1 John 3:1).
It is a glorious, amazing, overwhelming thing to be called a child of God. You are an adopted child of the King of Kings, the Maker of the universe, the Ruler of all things. God loves you so much that he chose to adopt you as his own.
I’ve had numerous friends who have adopted children, and I can say with certainty that only deep, profound love motivates a person to adopt. If you have been adopted by God, it is because God’s love found you when you weren’t looking for it. It’s because God deeply wanted you to be part of his family.
Be encouraged by this: you are a child of God, loved by God, adopted by God.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #9: 1 John 3:16
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers (1 John 3:16).
What is the most profound way that God could prove his love for you? By embracing death on your behalf.
Ponder this glorious truth for a moment. God, the immortal, eternal, almighty, everlasting One, took on flesh and blood. The Creator entered into this broken, sinful, wicked world, and then died on a shameful cross in your place.
The One who gives eternal life allowed himself to be swallowed by death.
Could God do anything greater than laying down his life for you? No, he couldn’t. God’s love for you is so deep and profound that he was willing to submit to death for you. Absolutely mind-blowing.
As it says in John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
Bible Verse About God’s Love #10: Romans 5:5
God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us…(Romans 5:5)
God doesn’t just want you to know his love intellectually. He cares so deeply for you that he wants you to know his love experientially.
How does he make that happen?
He has poured the Holy Spirit into your heart, and the Spirit assures you that God loves you. Would the Holy Spirit take up residence in your heart if God didn’t deeply, profoundly love you? Would God make you a temple of the Holy Spirit if he didn’t treasure you?
No, he wouldn’t.
The Holy Spirit in you both assures you of God’s love and proves the staggering depths of God’s love for you.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #11: Romans 5:6-8
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8)
God didn’t wait for you to clean up your act before he died for you. He didn’t wait for you to get things together before he sacrificed himself on your behalf. He didn’t even make you repent before he died on the cross for your sins.
While you were still a sinner, Christ died for you. In other words, Jesus loves you so much and wanted you to be saved so much, that he died for you when you had absolutely nothing to offer him.
Isn’t that such good news? God has provided every aspect of your salvation. He died for you, then breathed spiritual life into you so that you would embrace Christ’s death. There simply is no greater proof of God’s love than his death for you when you were a sinner.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #12: Romans 8:35
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? (Romans 8:35)
God’s love for you is so strong, so invincible, so powerful, that nothing can separate you from it. In the midst of the worst trials, the deepest pain, and the greatest danger, God’s sustaining love is present. He’ll never leave you, never forsake you, never abandon you.
God can’t abandon those whom he loves, and you are one of his beloved. I’m reminded of the classic hymn “How Firm A Foundation,” which says:
When through the deep waters I call thee to go, The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow; For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless, And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress
God’s love is an unshakeable foundation. Even when God calls you to go through deep waters and fiery trials, you won’t be overrun with sorrows. His love will sustain you and keep you.
Bible Verse About God’s Love #13: Titus 3:4-5
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy…(Titus 3:4-5)
This is an incredibly freeing, life-giving verse. Why did God save you? Was it because you had everything together and were righteous? Was it because you were somehow worthy of saving? Was it because you had something special to offer that no one else had?
Not in the least.
God saved you because of his goodness and lovingkindness. He looked upon you in your sinful brokenness and said, “I love you. I want you to be part of my family. I’m going to save you.”
This frees you from feeling like you need to continually earn God’s love and mercy. He loved you when you had nothing to offer him, and he continues to love you in exactly the same way.
As one who has struggled with an anxiety disorder for most of my adult life, I know just how important prayer for anxiety is.
And in addition to struggling with an anxiety disorder, I also regularly find myself in the midst of circumstances that tempt me to feel anxious. Whether it’s the stress of upcoming bills or the health of my children or the pressure of being self-employed, I find myself constantly tempted to be anxious.
I need prayer for anxiety.
But here’s the thing…
When I’m being squeezed by the vice grip of anxiety, it’s really hard for me to pray. My brain is going in 10,000 different directions and I often don’t even know what to pray.
Can you relate?
Here’s the good news though. God always hears our prayers for anxiety. He longs to help us when we’re anxious. He wants to meet us right where we are and give us the peace that passes understanding.
As Paul said in Philippians 4:6, “…do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
So what sorts of prayers for anxiety should we pray? Here are five.
Prayer For Anxiety #1: Trusting God’s Good Character
Father, I don’t understand why you’re allowing me to go through these challenging circumstances. I don’t know why you’ve allowed me to be pressed on every side and overwhelmed by the waves of life.
But what I do know is that you are good and loving and faithful. I know that nothing can get to me without first going through you. And I know that you are working all things together for my good and your glory.
As it says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
So even though I may not understand why I’m experiencing these difficult trials, I know that you are walking with me every step of the way. So I lift this prayer for anxiety to you. I trust in you to sustain me even when I can’t sustain myself. You are faithful even when I am faithless.
Prayer For Anxiety #2: Trusting God’s Good Promises
Father, even though I may not be able to see how any good can come out of these circumstances, you have promised to never stop doing good to me.
As you say in Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
In Psalm 84:11 you say, “No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
As I lift this prayer for anxiety, I believe this promise. I believe that you will not withhold a single good thing from me. If something is good for me, you’ll give it to me. If it’s not, you’ll withhold it.
I believe that right now your goodness and mercy are pursuing me. Even though I may feel anxious, I can’t escape your goodness and mercy. You are pouring out blessings on me right now, and nothing can stop your good promises from being fulfilled.
Even though I’m currently feeling anxious, I’m choosing to put my trust in your word over my feelings. I’m choosing to believe your promises rather than what my eyes can see.
Prayer For Anxiety #3: Trusting God’s Good Provision
Lord, in Philippians 4:19 you say, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
I thank you that you are going to meet my every need. I may not be able to see how you’re going to meet my every need, but I’m choosing to believe your promise.
I thank you that you are going to supply my needs out of your bounteous riches in Christ. I don’t have to twist your arm in order to get you to meet my needs. Just as I love to provide for my children, you absolutely love to provide abundantly for your children.
So I’m asking you to provide for me, confident that you will. Confident that you will do great things in response to my prayers.
As I lift this prayer for anxiety, I remember the words of Charles Spurgeon, who said:
It does not matter how heavy troubles are if you can cast them on the Lord. The heavier they are, so much the better, for the more you have gotten rid of, and the more there is laid on the rock.
Prayer For Anxiety #4: Trusting God’s Fatherly Care
Lord, your word tells me that you care for me as a Father cares for his children. I am your child and I thank you that you love me with a deep, overwhelming, never ceasing, overpowering love.
As you say in Matthew 7:11, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Father, even I know how to give good gifts to children, and I’m a sinful human. You are perfectly good and loving, and I thank you that you will give me good, sweet gifts. I thank you that your heart beats with Fatherly affection for me. I thank you that nothing can separate me from your intense, Fatherly love.
As it says in Romans 8:35, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”
Because nothing can separate me from your love, I can trust you completely. I can throw all my weight on you. I can hope in you fully. I offer this prayer for anxiety, knowing that you are my good, gracious, heavenly Father.
Prayer For Anxiety #5: Trusting God To Carry Every Burden
Lord, in 1 Peter 5:6-7 you say, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
Father, I humbly offer this prayer for anxiety up to you, casting all my anxieties upon you. The simple truth is that I am not able to carry all these burdens on my own. I don’t have the strength or the wisdom to successfully navigate these challenging circumstances.
And so I am casting every burden, big and small upon you. I am clinging to you in the midst of the storm, holding fast to you. Though I may not be able to carry all my burdens, you absolutely can.
Oh What Needless Pain We Bear
If you’re struggling with anxiety, run to God constantly in prayer. Don’t let anxiety dominate your life. Don’t let worry rule you. Take all your worries and fears and struggles to God and lay them at his feet.
Many secular blogs advise us to tell ourselves we are amazing, there is no one like us, that we should love ourselves, be grateful for ourselves, that we are special and we matter. Or in the words of Stuart Smalley we should tell ourselves, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me.”
Years ago, I heard a Christian teacher say pretty much the opposite. That he thought of himself as “the worst of sinners.” He quoted the apostle Paul:
The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 1 Timothy 1:15
This teacher regularly told himself “I am the foremost of sinners,” to help him be humble. But is that how believers are supposed to think of themselves? When Paul referred to himself as “the foremost of sinners” he was talking about himself before Christ saved him.
In context (1 Timothy 1:13-17) Paul said that though he had been a horrible sinner, Jesus had been perfectly patient toward him and saved him. So everyone, no matter how horrible a sinner could have hope that Jesus can save them. But Paul was not saying that his identity as a Christian was “the foremost of sinners.”
So who are we in Christ? How should we think of ourselves after Jesus saves us?
Should we think of ourselves as “the foremost of sinners?” Here are 13 ways the Bible describes who believers are. Here are 13 “I am’s” that are true of us:
I am a new creation
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 CO 5:17
I am reconciled to God
All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 2 CO 5:18
I am a child of God
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. Galatians 3:26
God is now my Father. I am part of God’s family. I am no longer an outsider.
I am no longer a slave of sin
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. Romans 6:6
I am forgiven of all my sins
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Colossians 3:13
I am washed, sanctified and justified
And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
I am the very righteousness of God
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19
I am at peace with God
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
I am being transformed into the likeness and glory of Christ
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18
I am a joint-heir with Christ
And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:17
I am chosen and loved by God
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience… Colossians 3:12
I am gifted by God to serve others
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 1 Peter 4:10
I am destined to look upon the face of Christ and someday be like him
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
Let me brutally honest: when the poo hits the fan, trusting God becomes really hard.
I start to run all sorts of, “What if?” scenarios and calculations in my head. What if I can’t pay the bills? What if my kids don’t follow the Lord? What if these symptoms don’t go away? What if I have to deal with this fractured relationship for the rest of my life?
You get the point. Instead of trusting God who has promised to be faithful to me, I trust in my own ability to navigate the circumstances I’m facing.
Of course, this never ends well. I usually end up feeling really anxious, burdened, and like my own personal apocalypse is sure to happen.
So how can I learn to trust in God even when life is really hard and confusing? Here are five biblical strategies. Each one of these should be in my “trusting God” arsenal, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice.
Trusting God Strategy #1: Lean Not On My Own Understanding
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
When I’m overwhelmed, burdened, and battered by life’s circumstances, I’m tempted to trust in myself rather than the Lord. The unfortunate reality is that sinful self-sufficiency is hardwired into me.
I’m tempted to believe that if I can devise the right strategy and make smart moves, I can get through life on my own. By my wit and grit.
Of course, this is utter nonsense. I’m not smart enough to navigate the dangerous shoals of life. I don’t have the strength or the wisdom to successfully weave through the minefields that I encounter.
Rather, God’s word calls me to trust in him with all my heart and to not lean one iota on my own understanding. When I’m tempted to fear and doubt and worry, God calls me to jettison my own understanding of the situation and trust him entirely.
The simple reality is that I don’t know all the glorious things God is doing in and through my circumstances. I love how John Piper puts it:
God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them…Not only may you see a tiny fraction of what God is doing in your life; the part you do see may make no sense to you.
Things might not make sense to me, but God knows exactly what he’s doing. Trusting God starts with not leaning on my own understanding and trusting God with ALL my heart.
Trusting God Strategy #2: Run To The Throne of Grace
Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
What a sweet, sweet promise this is. I love how honest the Bible is. It clearly acknowledges that there will be times of need. There will be times when I’ll be brought low.
Feeling absolutely bewildered by everything going on around me.
Scripture never makes it seem like life is all roses and peanut butter cups. The Bible fully acknowledges that there are times when life just plain stinks.
And it also tells us exactly what to do in those times. When life is hard and circumstances are bewildering and trusting God seems impossible, I am to run to the throne of grace.
There I will find Jesus, ready to give me exactly what I need. He too endured hardship and heartbreak and suffering, and because of this, he can give me grace when I experience the same things.
When I’m struggling with trusting God, he invites me to run to him for sustaining grace.
Trusting God Strategy #3: Remember God’s Character
Lamentations 3:21-23 says, “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
How do I grow in trusting God ? By actively calling to mind God’s faithful, steadfast character. This passage in particular encourages me to call three specific things to mind on a regular basis:
How could I question a God who is unfailingly, unflaggingly faithful?
But here’s the thing. If I’m going to succeed in trusting God, I must actively, constantly call these truths about God to mind. It’s not enough to just know them, like I know that 2 + 2 = 4 and that kale tastes gross. I must engage my mind with these truths.
When I call to mind God’s character, I’m able to trust God even when things don’t make sense.
Let us lean on God with all our weight. Let us throw ourselves on his faithfulness as we do on our beds, bringing all our weariness to his dear rest
Trusting God Strategy #4: Recall God’s Past Faithfulness
Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
This verse is a glorious reminder that God is absolutely unchanging. From everlasting to everlasting, he is God. He never shifts, never changes, never fluctuates.
Now, what does this have to do with trusting God?
If God never changes, and he has been faithful to me in the past, then I can be absolutely sure that he will be faithful to me in the future.
And God most certainly has been faithful to me in the past. He has sustained me through heartbreak, crippling anxiety, insufferable depression, overwhelming doubts, broken relationships, and a thousand other trials, toils, and snares. From the moment I was born, God has been faithful to me.
Because God never changes, his past faithfulness is a guarantee of future faithfulness. I can be sure that God will continue to sustain me, continue to uphold me, continue to shepherd me to green pastures.
When I fear my faith will fail, Christ will hold me fast; When the tempter would prevail, He will hold me fast. I could never keep my hold through life’s fearful path; For my love is often cold; He must hold me fast.
Yes, God has indeed held me fast, and he will continue to hold me fast. For this reason, trusting God in the midst of trials is truly possible.
Trusting God Strategy #5: Pray For Faith
Philippians 4:5-6 says, “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Ultimately, trusting God is only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. Even if I know all the truths above, the Holy Spirit must empower me to take hold of them by faith.
To believe them even when circumstances would say otherwise.
To not lean on my own understanding.
I need the Holy Spirit to move these glorious truths from my head to my heart. If that doesn’t happen, trusting God will be impossible for me.
And so I must consistently, constantly pray that God would enable me to trust him. That God would help me believe his promises and trust him even when life doesn’t make sense. That he would help me to wait patiently for him.
The simple, yet profound truth is that I can do nothing (including trust God) apart from God.
As Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Yes, I am called to actively put my trust in God. I must work at trusting God. At the same time, God must empower me to obey. And so I pray and then I obey.
Are you depressed, discouraged? Do you feel like giving up? Do you feel weak? Or like a failure? Do you feel beat up by life? Or do you feel like a spiritual loser? Defeated by your sins? Discouraged by how often you have failed?
Well, God has good news for you. If you believe in Jesus and have turned to him with all your heart, he is waiting and longing to lift you up. To help you. To give you victory and joy in life. Isaiah 42 tells us this about Jesus:
Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. Isaiah 42:1-4
Isaiah 42 is a prophetic passage about the coming Messiah. When Isaiah gave this prophecy, Israel was still in captivity to Babylon, and probably had been for a long time. When Isaiah gave this word it may have been near the end of their 70 years of bondage.
Can you imagine how discouraged and hopeless God’s people must have felt? They were certainly “a bruised reed.” They may have felt like their faith in God was like “a faintly burning wick.”
But God said that things were going to change for Israel. He would send the Messiah, not to punish them more, but to deliver them and establish them in him.
We know that the Messiah was Jesus Christ. Look how God describes him.
Jesus Came As A Servant
Behold my servant, whom I uphold,my chosen, in whom my soul delights; (1)
The King of the Universe wasn’t born into wealth and riches. He didn’t come with pomp and mighty armies. He was born a helpless baby in a stable. He himself said that he came to be a humble servant.
You might say that Jesus himself knows what it is like to be a bruised reed. He didn’t come in strength. He came in weakness. As a lowly servant.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Amazing! The Creator of the Universe came as a servant. And although he is on heaven’s throne he still cares for us and serves us. He lives to intercede for us. He waits to help us. He urges us to cast our cares upon him. He is our Helper.
Jesus gave his very life for you. He will certainly help you and lift you up and strengthen you. He will establish you in him and give you victory. He longs for these things more than you do. Even if you feel like a bruised reed, broken and weary, Jesus will strengthen you.
Jesus Was Filled With God’s Spirit and Will Fill You With His Spirit
I have put my Spirit upon him; (1)
And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. John 1:32
Jesus fills his people with the very Spirit of God who filled him. The Holy Spirit gives us power and strength in our weakness. The Holy Spirit teaches us, speaks to us and guides us:
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26
We are weak, but God the Holy Spirit strengthens us and intercedes for us. Not only does Jesus intercede for us, but so does the Holy Spirit. Wow! God himself praying for us weaklings. Let that encourage you, even if you feel like a bruised reed.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26
The Holy Spirit produces fruit and character in us. We don’t do it in our own strength; God does it! Trust him! Ask him to help you love others. Ask him for joy and peace. Ask him to help you be faithful. God the Holy Spirit will change you.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
A Bruised Reed He Will Not Break – Our Savior Is So Gentle!
He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,or make it heard in the street; (2)
Bible scholar Albert Barnes says this means:
He shall not use loud and angry words, as they do who are engaged in conflict, but all his teaching shall be gentle, humble, and mild.
When we come to Jesus with our weakness and failures, he doesn’t yell at us. He isn’t angry with us. He paid for our failures and sins on the cross. He is loving and accepting. He waits to help us.
The only kinds of words he uses are those that tell us he loves us, accepts us, is with us and will help us. He understands that we are bruised reeds.
We may feel beaten, broken, hopeless or worthless, like a bruised reed, not a mighty oak tree. But Jesus came not to help the strong and the mighty, but to help the fragile and the weak.
He didn’t come to help those ablaze with their own greatness, but to help those who feel like smoking candle wicks; like they have barely any flame at all.
…a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; (3)
Jesus won’t break us. He will strengthen us. Jesus won’t snuff us out. He’ll fan into flame the fire of his Spirit and his life in us. Again, he is “gentle, humble and mild.” He handles a bruised reed and smoking wick with gentleness and mildness.
When Isaiah says he will faithfully bring forth justice he means that Jesus will faithfully bring the kingdom of God and the rule of God in the earth and in our lives. Day after day he is faithful to work in us. He is faithful to make us more and more like himself.
Though You May Be A Bruised Reed, Jesus Is Not Shocked By Your Weakness
He will not grow faint or be discouragedtill he has established justice in the earth;and the coastlands wait for his law. Isaiah 42:4
Isn’t it encouraging to know that Jesus “will not grow faint or be discouraged” with the progress his kingdom makes in the earth? And he won’t grow faint or be discouraged with the progress he makes in our lives. And he will be faithful to establish his rule and reign in our lives.If Jesus does not grow faint or discouraged, then neither should we.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Jesus will strengthen us with his supernatural power to run this race!
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, Colossians 1:11
Did you see that? Jesus strengthens us “with ALL power,” and not according to our might but “according to HIS GLORIOUS MIGHT,” so that we can endure all we face. And his power is so great that we can endure with “patience and joy.”
The Israelites in Babylon must have felt like bruised reeds, weak and powerless. They must have felt like smoldering wicks, almost at the end of their faith. But God promised them a Messiah to come, who would not break them or snuff out their faith, but strengthen them and fill them with His Spirit and power and establish his kingdom on earth and in their lives.
And the good news is the Messiah has come! He came as a Servant, and longs to serve you and me. He came not to condemn and break us, but to lift us up, strengthen us and work in our lives.
Talk about good news for all of us who are beaten down, fainthearted, failures, discouraged or dismayed at our lives or our progress in Jesus. Good news! What a Savior we have!