Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Being Strong and Stable

     Upon reading the following verse I felt led to encourage you with it. 1 Peter 5:10 -  “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” In the first part of the verse is the phrase “God of all grace”.  One of my favorite definitions of the word grace is, “God’s ability in me to do that which I don’t have the ability to do.” I like that! It reminds me that the things I cannot do in my own strength, God will help me to do. Of course, we have to ask for his help.
     What I really want to focus on today are the last four key words in the verse – perfect, establish, strengthen and settle.
PERFECT“…but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18
     The word perfect in the Greek this word means “to mend (what has been broken or rent), to repair, to complete, to fit out, to equip, to put in order, to arrange, to adjust, to fit or frame for oneself, to prepare or ethically, to strengthen, to perfect, to complete, to make one what he ought to be.” (Emphasis mine)
    Imagine that, God desires to make us all that we ought to be!  In other words, God wants us to mature. He wants us to allow him to make the necessary changes in our lives so that we can be a reflection of him for others. This reminds me of Philippians 1:6 which says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” What a promise! He WILL complete the work he has started in us!
ESTABLISH/CONFIRM- “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” II Thessalonians 3:3
     Establish in the Greek means “to make stable, to place firmly, to set fast, to fix, to strengthen, to make firm, to render constant, to confirm (one's mind).  The idea here is that God wants to build your life and character so that when the storms of life hit, you will have firmly placed in your mind and heart the promise of God’s protection and grace to get you through that time.
STRENGTHEN – “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” Psalm 31:24
     The meaning of this word is pretty basic - “to make strong, to strengthen; used of one's soul.”  Simply put, the Lord wants to make you stronger in your character and in your walk with him.  In times of difficulty as we turn to God for help he promises to strengthen us. Some of the ways we can gain strength is trough a bible study with other believers, by being part of a local church and most importantly by our time spent in the presence of God through prayer, praise and worship.
SETTLE“Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times, and the strength of salvation; the fear of the LORD is His treasure.” Isaiah 33:6
     This word means to “lay the foundation, to found, to make stable, to establish.” The word I want to focus on here is stable, but before I do that let’s consider the word establish in this definition. For those of you that are Christians you may be trying to find “your place” in your local church. You know you want to serve the Lord. You may even feel called to a particular area of ministry but you can’t see how it will ever come about. Let me encourage you with this thought. (I have to remind myself of this often!) Be patient. God will establish you where he wants you in your local fellowship. We’re all part of the body and we each have our particular function that God has designed for us. We just need to be willing to do what he wants us to do, not what we want to do.
     Now, getting back to the word stable or stability. What I want to focus on here is that God wants to make you a stable person. If you call out to him, as the above verse says, he will be the stability of your times. Jesus Christ is the only person that can give us true stability in our lives! The truth of the matter is that your life will never be ‘settled” until Jesus Christ has come into your life.
     What troubles you today?  Look at what Psalm 37:5 says, “Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”  You see, that’s the key. We must commit everything to the Lord. We have to have settled in our heart and mind that no matter what we’re going through in our life, we are going to live for him.
Commit everything unto the LORD, and He will establish your thoughts. Do things His way; do them unto Him; turn them over to Him in prayer; and trust Him for the results. He will take care of you. If you’re going through a struggle at this time contact a leader in your church or someone that you know who is a mature Christian and ask them to pray with you.

     Until next time, be strong in the might of the Lord!

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