This morning I struggle as many of you do on a daily basis with being patient through trying times. It seems easy to sit back on days that everything is going fine, and let God lead us along. What about the times when things aren't going the way you want them to? What about when you know what is the best for the situation, but can't make it happen? Do we throw our hands up at God and say "I've got this one handled?"
My reading this morning comes from 2 Peter 1:3-8..."According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
It clearly is stated here that through His divine power, we have been given everything that we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him...But, what about this or that??? Check out verse 4...through His glory and virtue we have been given great and precious promises, and by them we can share in divine nature and escape the corruption in this world. Isn't it the corruption that seeps into our minds, allowing us to think we know what is best? I mean, do we really believe that???
Verse 5 goes on to state that for that very reason, we need to add virtue to our faith (in Holman it states supplement faith with goodness) and knowledge to virtue. Faith isn't the only thing to get us through...we have to be involved in the working of the Lord in our lives! Along with our faith in God, we should be striving to do and show good to those we contact. We also are told to add knowledge to our virtue (goodness). Where do you go for knowledge??? In school, you look for a book on a subject to learn and gain knowledge. The knowledge we are to seek is from the Lord...and there is nowhere to find that but in His Word!!!
Continuing on in verse 6, we are called to add temperance (self-control), patience (endurance) and godliness. Self-control...that's a sticky one for many of us, right? The next one can be such a challenge...patience or endurance. Especially when you are following God's plan in your life, it gets frustrating when things still don't go according to plan. The problem is, we are looking at the plan as being ours...not His, right? And if we are able to stay patient and endure through the struggles, we need to add in godliness. I believe this follows a specific order for a good reason. When you add each of these to your life (truly), you are ready for the next step in growth spiritually. If you try to show godliness without self-control, patience, faith, knowledge, etc..what exactly are you showing???
In verse 7, we continue with brotherly kindness and charity. Brotherly kindness should be an easy one, but many times quite the opposite. When we speak of brotherly kindness, we aren't speaking of human families, but in the family of God. You don't get to pick your family...but you do have to show love to one another. Our preacher has a saying he got from an elder in church years ago that I believe sums this one up, "We can disagree, but let's not be disagreeable". This is so true. We may not like the same songs, college teams, musical styles, activities, carpet and tile combinations, etc but we are in this for the furthering of God's kingdom. If we can't show love to one another, how can we show charity (love) to those who aren't a part of the family?
Finally, in verse 8, we realize that if all these above are in us AND ABOUND (can be seen, not tucked away), we will not be barren and unfruitful in our knowledge of the Lord. I also believe that not only our knowledge will be fruitful, but our works will as well. Strive to follow these today and everyday from now...the Lord will bless you!!!
Let me know if there is a special prayer I can word on your behalf today...