Without knowing who we are in Christ, we face the prospect of failure. Exercising faith to believe in God’s truth develops good character traits to help us make it successfully. Faith is powerful and helps us walk positively through any circumstance. Hope helps us believe in God’s promises for what we can’t see.
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm,” the writer to the Hebrews penned, “for God can be trusted to keep his promise” (Hebrews 10:23, NLT). We can trust God to keep His promise.
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life,” Peter wrote. “We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4, NLT).
God has given us everything we need for His righteousness to be alive in us. And we received "all of this" we need the day we believed in Christ. We received Jesus by faith, and we also received everything we need to live a righteous life.
God has given us great and precious promises that enable us to share in His divine nature. But if we don’t know the promises that are ours, we live defeated and powerless lives. When we exercise faith and allow the Holy Spirit to renew the way we think, we learn to see from God’s perspective instead of what we see. The full righteousness of God lives in us, but we can’t know what that means until we allow our faith to transform our understanding.
“For this very reason,” Peter continued, “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love (2 Peter 1:5-7, NLT).
Make every effort to add to your faith, Paul said—not just attempt and then when it gets too hard to give up. You decide to add these virtues in your life, but God’s power fosters personal growth and results in spiritual understanding.
You decide to grow. You decide to change. You decide to forgive. You decide to persevere. You decide to be patient. You decide to surrender and allow Him to mold your mind. God empowers your choices and carries you in His strength, and your perception changes to His. You are transformed in the spirit of your mind. You have the mind of Christ. Peace is not just a dream. You discover it more quickly. Fear is defeated more easily. Walking the road of life is easier because your eyes are not on the road but on God.
Life will always present trials. Whatever you face will either spur you on or hold you back. Christ promises success, but you decide to believe what you have received. Without allowing the truth of His Word to impact your mind, you will not understand the wonderful gift of righteousness He has given you. His promises are true, but if you don’t know them, you remain in bondage. Faith comes by hearing the Word. Knowledge of the Word sets you free. And faith gives wings to His promises.
“The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Peter wrote in conclusion. “But those who fail to develop in this way are short-sighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins” (2 Peter 1:8-9, NLT).
If you live with shame and guilt, you’re in bondage to the old person you were before you knew Jesus. You haven’t allowed the Holy Spirit to help you grow in spiritual understanding of what Jesus has actually given you.
Never remain short-sighted in your knowledge and understanding of the grace of Jesus. Make every effort, and He will transform your understanding. The glass no longer has to appear half-empty or even half-full. It is always overflowing. Christ, the hope of glory, lives in you.
© 2021 Lynn Lacher