God Will Not Fail You

In the fifth of a series of promises for overcoming your fears, Dr. Stanley assures us that we can proceed in complete dependence on God’s love, power, wisdom, and provision when we feel powerless in life.

Are you encountering a challenge that you can’t handle in your own strength? Do you find yourself thinking, I don’t know what to do—even if I did, I just don’t have the strength for it. Certainly, this is one of the thoughts that can devastate us.

So far, we’ve looked at several beliefs that can cause us to fear and undermine our faith:

“I am all alone. No one is going to help me.”

“This is happening because God doesn’t love me. I’m too flawed, too damaged, and He’s rejected me.”

“The economy is failing. I am going to be left with nothing.”

“I have no future. I’m trapped.”

 

But we can be equally distressed when we look at our circumstances and think:

“I’m so powerless. I have no idea about what to do.”

 

This is a thought based on the false assumption that your ultimate success rests on your shoulders. As a believer, you know that isn’t true. In fact, in order to become a Christian, you had to admit that you couldn’t save yourself but had to rely on Jesus’ wisdom and provision to forgive your sins, remove your sin nature, and make you spiritually alive. You were powerless to do so, and you had no idea how to go about it. So you placed your trust in Christ to take care of it for you. The challenge is that the Father expects us to make this exchange in every area of our lives.

As Christians, there are many wonderful gifts and privileges Jesus has given us. Ephesians 1:3 tells us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (emphasis added). We have resources beyond ourselves we can count on—we can rely on the Lord’s unlimited strength, wisdom, plan, and purposes. This is why we’re told in Scripture, “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 your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5-6).

The Father asks us to walk with Him by faith. But when storms arise that are beyond our strength to endure, and we don’t know what to do, our ordinary inclination is to cry out, “Lord, I can’t handle this! Have You rejected me? Shouldn’t there be a plan?” Obviously, God has a map for how to proceed, and ultimately it will be successful. But when we don’t know what it is, we doubt Him. We think we need to know the entire plan before moving forward—but that’s not the case.

Like the disciples who were caught in the storm while Jesus slept in the stern of the boat, we cry out, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” (Mark 4:38). We know that nothing would’ve happened to that vessel because Jesus still had to go to the cross and rise from the grave. Likewise, those disciples were safe because the Lord was going to work through them to spread the Good News of salvation around the world. But as Christians today, we have the luxury of hindsight—they didn’t know these things. So until Jesus “rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Hush, be still’” (Mark 4:39), they remained in their fear.

Often, we do so as well. The tempest is overwhelming. We feel powerless. We have no idea what to do. We cry out for God’s rescue plan for us—not one step at a time, but all of it at once. However, we miss the fact that the very definition of walking by faith means trusting the Lord to lead us inch by inch, mile by mile, empowering and equipping us for the challenges arising along the way.

The Father wants us to proceed in complete dependence on His love, power, wisdom, and provision. And we can be assured He will reveal His plans to us and give us the joy of seeing His mighty hand at work in our circumstances (2 Cor. 12:9-10). So when you’re tempted to think, I’m so powerless … I have no idea about what to do, seek Jesus through prayer and time spent in His Word. He’ll certainly show you what you need to know, set you on the right track, and give you the strength for every step of the way.

Fight that thought with the truth:

  • “O Lord, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You . . . We are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”—2 Chronicles 20:6, 2 Chronicles 20:12

  • I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. —Psalm 32:8

  • Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, for my soul takes refuge in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge until destruction passes by. I will cry to God Most High, to God who accomplishes all things for me. He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth. —Psalm 57:1-4

  • The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting. —Psalm 138:8

  • There is no wisdom and no understanding and no counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord. —Proverbs 21:30-31

  • Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher. Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. —Isaiah 30:20-21

  • The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. —Isaiah 40:28-31

  • The Lord God helps Me, therefore, I am not disgraced; therefore, I have set My face like flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed. —Isaiah 50:7

  • Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to Him. … He gives wisdom to wise men and knowledge to men of understanding. It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things. —Daniel 2:20-22

  • I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13

  • Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. —Philippians 4:6-7

  • If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5

Next week, we will look at: “I fear I am not going to survive this.”

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3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

38 Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?"

39 And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush, be still." And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm.

9 And He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

10 Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

6 and he said, O LORD, the God of our fathers, are You not God in the heavens? And are You not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You.

12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we are powerless before this great multitude who are coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are on You."

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.

1 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by.

2 I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me.

3 He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth.

4 My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, Even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows And their tongue a sharp sword.

8 The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

30 There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD.

31 The horse is prepared for the day of battle, But victory belongs to the LORD.

20 Although the Lord has given you bread of privation and water of oppression, He, your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will behold your Teacher.

21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.

28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.

29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.

30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,

31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

7 For the Lord GOD helps Me, Therefore, I am not disgraced; Therefore, I have set My face like flint, And I know that I will not be ashamed.

20 Daniel said, Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him.

21 It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding.

22 It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him.

13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

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