"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." - 2 Peter 1:3
There are a lot of ways to fall short. Every day, I seem to discover a new part of my heart that has strayed from obedience to our Lord Jesus. Some weeks are up, some weeks are down. Some seasons are flourishing, and some seasons are arid. It's so easy to become discouraged by the fact that our flesh is drawn to failure, even when our spirit is yearning to be obedient and pleasing to God.
To the nonbeliever, our faith can sometimes appear to be "just a bunch of rules to follow," or perhaps "just another constraint on my freedoms." Oh, it is so much more, friends. But, I think even believers are prone to succumb to these types of conjectures. "Our God is perfect. How on earth can I possibly please Him?" So many of the magnificent instructions in the Bible are much easier said than done.
The verse above, 2 Peter 1:3, explains that God himself has gifted us with everything we need in order to live a godly life. Did you miss that? God has given us everything we need. He has given us the strength, the endurance, the patience, the hope, the encouragement, the faith -- each in its necessary amount -- that we need in order to live a life that is pleasing to Him. I find this fact, this promise from our loving Father above, to be awe-inducing.
The songwriters of the Psalms felt and understood this awesome promise, long before Peter informed us of it:
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." - Psalm 73:26
GOD himself is the strength of our hearts. GOD himself is our portion, or our piece of heavenly joy and sustenance. Wow.
Jump back to the verse in 2 Peter for a moment. God also tells us very clearly how we can latch onto and receive this gift of everything we need to live a godly life -- "through our knowledge of Him," that is through studying His Word, "who called us by His own glory and goodness," that is Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior who willingly died for us and called us to live lives that bring glory and honor to Him. Again, I say, wow.
The connection seems clear to me. Everything we need to live a godly life is found in the place in which we gain knowledge of Him -- the Bible. So the basic moral of the story is read your Bible, friends! Study it. Meditate upon it. Savor it and delight in the promises God has made to us.
But, there's a bonus. "God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." God himself is and will forever be our strength. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then God the Holy Spirit, God himself, is dwelling inside of you right this very instant. He is protecting you, helping you fight your flesh, and drawing your soul closer and closer to Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps us discern and understand the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit comforts us from the inside out when we feel like utter failures, reassuring us of the love of God our Father and of the absolutely effective security of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead.
Take heart, friends. Following Jesus is indeed easier said than done. But, God himself will help us in the "doing."
-written by Chase Cotten, Media Director