Our Bibles are not merely a source of information, but also books of transformation. Yes, the Bible offers light in a dark and dreary world. As King David wrote, “You word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path…” (Psalm 119:105) The Bible tells us that trust (faith) comes by hearing or reading the word of God (Romans 10:17). The more you read the word of God, the more your faith will increase! How can you increase your faith in God if you don’t know Him? It is difficult to trust someone you don’t know. That’s why friendship is built on an interpersonal relationship. Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
Eternal life began the moment you expressed the words: “I believe Jesus is the Son of God…” Daily reading, study and corresponding actions help you gain knowledge of God, Our Father. Through reading the Bible you will come to know that not only is God trustworthy, but also you will experience His steadfast, constant love. By studying each story, even meditating on it, you and I discover how God deals with human beings. You can see these specific things He promises. God wants the very best for you in 2017. “For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope…” (Jeremiah 29:11)
It is my practice to ask those I’m counseling or praying with to speak their own names out loud as we agree together about their requests because “…if two on earth agree…it will be done…” (Matthew 18:19. NIV) Doing—and speaking—the Word activates His many promises. God is faithful and just and wants you to share with Him your wants and needs. For too long, I thought I had to do everything all on my own or that I could ask help for others but not myself. How ignorant that was! God is waiting for a chance to answer and address all things involved in your life. “I say to you, whatever things you ask for when you pray; believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24) Jesus often took time alone, talking and praying with his father. Prayer is not a maneuver to get what you or I want. It is a way to participate in God’s ultimate plan for our lives. He already knows every need and every fault we have as described in Matthew 6:8.
Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes us. Be sincere and talk to Him as your best friend. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know He hears us—whatever we ask—we know we have what we asked of Him.” (1 John 5:14-15) Continue to ask Him for forgiveness, courage and strength to overcome every obstacle in 2017.