“…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.’” – Hebrews 13:5-6
Last year, after prayer and discussion, Sabra and I chose one word we believe God gave us to help guide us through 2015. That word was focus. We have chosen a new word for 2016, which Sabra will write about in an upcoming post. But, for now, I want to encourage us not to leave behind our focus on Christ as we leave behind 2015 and move into this new year.
Christ must remain the focus of our lives and marriages if we want 2016 to be the year God desires for us. I know that’s what I want, and I pray that’s what you desire also. So let’s start this year by focusing on a few promises of God that will help us to grow in our marriages in the months ahead.
Five Promises of God to Guide Us through the Year
1 – God enables us to live a godly life.
We read in 2 Peter 1:3-4: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
In this passage, God gives us “great and precious promises.” These promises are found in His Word, and they are “everything we need for a godly life.” This includes a godly marriage. This is why Sabra and I teach about marriage from God’s Word. And this is why we developed Couple Connect and encourage you and your spouse to use it together. (For our free Couple Connect ebook, click here: Couple Connect – A Simple Weekly Plan to Stay Close for a Lifetime.)
When we live by God’s great and precious Word, He promises that we will “participate in the divine nature,” and we will escape “the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” This is the only way we will have the marriage God designed for us.
2 – God is always with us.
A second promise God gives to us in His Word is that He is always with us, and He will always be with us in our marriage. The last thing Jesus said before He ascended to heaven, after His death and resurrection, was such a promise. We read these words from Jesus in Matthew 28:20: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Hebrews 13:5 gives us a command of God, followed by His promise: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” By the way, this directly follows God’s word to us about marriage: “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
So God tells us the key to a blessed marriage. If we’ll be faithful to Him and each other in our marriages, He’ll be right there with us. We can be certain that when we seek Him together He will guide us down the right path and He will take care of our every need along the way. We can have a marriage without fear because He is at the center of it and in control of it.
No matter what He allows to come our way, God will go through it with us.
Psalm 139:7-12 says: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”
As God’s children, our faith and hope for our marriages can be founded on the solid rock of His constant presence.
3 – God will provide all our needs.
He promises at the end of this section in Hebrews 13:6: “So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” In Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus promises that we do not have to worry about anything because He will provide everything. He says in Matthew 6:33: “‘But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.’”
4 – God will answer our prayers when we seek His will together.
Jesus gives us another promise in Matthew 18:19-20: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” This certainly applies to a husband and wife who are one in Christ.
As one in Christ, we desire to do His will together. When we desire to do His will, He is pleased to reveal it to us through His Word. When we pray together as a married couple, seeking and desiring to do His will, that is a prayer we can pray with confidence. For He promises to answer us. We are told in 1 John 5:14-15: “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 that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
5 – Whatever we face in the year ahead, God will bring good out of it.
Not only will God be with us through every situation we face, but He will see that good comes from it. This amazing promise is found in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
This promise can help us be strong and stand firm in our faith when our circumstances become difficult and the days seem dark. God is able to work it all together for good.
So, as you look together toward the year ahead, remember God is eternal and omniscient–He knows everything that will happen. And He promises to be with you in the midst of every trial, pain, victory, and defeat. He longs for you to hold on to His promises and to recognize His presence at every moment, in everything you do. He wants you to be full of the hope for this year because He is God. He is your God. And He will be there with you and help you every step of the way.
Never forget His promise to you: “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
Questions for Discussion
- Read this week’s teaching post together and share with one another what God has taught you. Discuss how you will apply what you have learned this week.
- Discuss together some of the things that are on your mind about the coming days, months, and year. Do you have any concerns or worries? Are there things–known or unknown–that are leading you to fear or have stress? What passages from the teaching post might help you with this?
- The world and its ways and ideas only bring fear and worry to us about what this coming year might bring. But God wants us to have the peace only He can bring to us. Pray together right now, and based on the promise of His Word, ask God to give you that peace. As Jesus said in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Place your complete trust in Him together for the year ahead. Ask Him for guidance in your lives and marriage. Remember the power God promises in His Word as you pray and agree together.
- Read through “Promises of God–to Give You Strength & Hope” (see below). These verses contain promises from God’s Word to us. Choose one or more to discuss with each other. Use them to pray for your life together. You might want to use one or two per week for the next several weeks to focus on. For a printable PDF of these promises, click here. (The link is also found on our Free Resources page.)
Promises of God–to Give You Strength & Hope
“ My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life,
and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has
given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
I and the Father are one.” – John 10:27-30
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
– Ephesians 3:12
Care for Us Always
“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom
I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your
old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and
I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.” – Isaiah 46:3-4
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will
not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”
– Psalm 46:1-3
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
– Matthew 11:28
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will
have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” – Isaiah 30:18
“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion
on those who fear him.” – Psalm 103:13
Courage and Strength
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow
tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not
grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” – Isaiah 40:29-31
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his
covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and
keep his commandments.” – Deuteronomy 7:9
“’Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love
for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord,
who has compassion on you.” – Isaiah 54:10
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” – Psalm 32:8
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept
my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may
be in you and that your joy may be complete.” – John 15:9-11
“So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will
rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.” – John 16:22
“But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep
his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.” – Psalm 103:17-18
“The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.’” – Jeremiah 31:3
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends
all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
“The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” – Psalm 121:7-8
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass
through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2
For a printable PDF of “Promises of God–to Give You Strength & Hope,”
click here or go to our Free Resources page.
Next week I have another New Year’s teaching post to share with you. I will discuss a prayer Paul has for one of the churches he planted that I believe applies well to our marriages.
Until then, may God bless you in all His wonderful ways,