We live in a world full of uncertainty. In recent days we have had a bombing in New York and a knife attack at a mall in Minnesota. We are in the midst of a presidential election season and no one knows how that will go. Yet when I examine the life of Paul, I am struck by the fact that two truths kept him going even through times of uncertainty and adversity: first, he knew the Lord, and second he knew and claimed the promises of God. These same two truths can give us strength to carry on as well.
In 2 Corinthians 1:20, Paul writes, "For all the promises of God in Him (Christ) are yes, and in Him amen, to the glory of God through us. "What I see here is that claiming the promises of God requires knowing the identity of God. Who is He? He is the one who makes promises, and the one who keeps promises.
Next, I notice that claiming the promises of God requires embracing the the intentions of God. We must understand that all the promises of God are "yes" in Christ. That means the reason those promises are offered is because of who Christ is, and because of what He has accomplished and because of what He deserves. These promises are for us who are "in Christ."
Finally, claiming the promises of God requires our willingness to respond to the initiatives of God. God's promises are appropriated by faith, and are for the purpose of glorifying the Father (helping a watching world see who He is in our daily live).
Repeatedly, we see in Scripture the pattern that we can be confident in what God is doing in the here and now because we have confidence in (we have seen) what He has done in the past.
Here is a promise for you to practice knowing, believing, and claiming from Psalm 37:4: "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." Now, that is simple (and profound) enough to last a lifetime.