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Power and Promises

For many of us, this has been a challenging week. Maybe the demands of our jobs have been taxing. Perhaps we’re wrestling through a strained relationship. There’s the exhausting demands of raising children. We’re learning to cope with a variety of loss in our lives. Our hearts are burdened for the families and loved ones of the victims of the Paris attacks. I’ve only scratched the surface of what the week may have looked like for us.

What do we do when our week (our very moment by moment?!) is chaotic? Burdensome? What do we do when our hearts are weary and worn out with the everyday of normal life?

Consider this—Peter tells us in 2 Peter 1:3-4:

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

How awesome is this? God's power, in Jesus Christ, through His Holy Spirit, has granted to us everything we need for all of life and godliness. In other words, God gives His children everything they need to have moral and spiritual transformation now, as well as a hope for life in the coming new creation.

First of all, what is this divine power? It is God’s power. It is His power that saves us (Eph. 2:8-9). His power continues to save us (1 Cor. 1:18; 2 Cor. 2:15). His power will finally save us (Rom.5:9). His power; not your power. When we feel like life is out of control, we must look to the One in complete control. This is the powerful God. He gives us His Spirit to empower us to live godly lives in the everyday—in the moment by moment. The Christian faith is not merely a set of doctrines to be accepted. It is a power to be experienced. God’s power; not your power.

Secondly, God’s power comes to us through the knowledge of Him. This knowledge means that we see and savor God’s great glory in all things. We know Jesus Christ as our glorious Lord and excellent King. Our knowledge of Him is power! This power is a power of hope, from the Spirit, that flows through us because we know we have been called to be God’s children. God has called us to His own glory and excellence. This is power. This is hope. This knowledge is to be experienced and savored as we change diapers; as we take that difficult business call; as we speak love and forgiveness to our spouse; as we pray for those who are our enemies.

Finally, this knowledge that leads to life and godliness is the knowledge of God’s precious and great promises to us. We bank on the promise that there is no longer any condemnation for us if we trust in Jesus (Rom. 8:1). We bank on the promise that we stand righteous before God because of Jesus alone (2 Cor. 5:21; Titus 3:5). We bank on the promise that God will be faithful to complete the good work He started in us (Phil. 1:6). He gives us His Spirit to help us in our weaknesses and to ensure that His work in us will come to perfect completion (Rom. 8:26; Titus 3:5-6).

These promises of God liberate us from corruption in the world and give us a share in the divine nature. God’s desire is that His family be liberated from the power of sin and be conformed to the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:29; 12:2). When we are tempted to see only the chaos around us; when we are tempted to see everyday life as a burden and not a joy; when we are tempted to sin and give in to the lies of the evil one; we must know and trust God’s great and precious promises.

This means that we must go to God’s Word to find these promises. We must treasure God’s promises in our hearts and rehearse them in our minds. Peter says at the end of verse 4 that corruption comes from sinful desire. Sin attacks us by promising happiness outside of the knowledge of Jesus: when we think it would be so much better to lie at work; when we think it would be so much better to really tell that person off; when we think that it would be so much better not to share the good news with our neighbor. Sin will always win the battle unless we are armed with God’s great and precious promises—the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6:17). When we arm ourselves with the knowledge that God promises us transforming power now and eternal hope for the future, we can escape corruption and walk in godliness.

God is good, right and perfect--He is holy. He desires that we become practically what we already are positionally in Christ--a holy people (1 Peter 2:9). He gives us His power and His promises to ensure our godliness and to fuel our joy. Dwell on this. Meditate on this. Give thanks to God for this! Pray that God will continue to show you His great power and mercy in your life.