“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.” – 2 Peter 1:3-4
We do not, and cannot, depend on our own merit to convince God to love us, therefore:
“This consolation I would wish all Christians in their prayers: the testimony of a good conscience to assure them of God’s promises. But to obtain what they ask must only depend upon him, all opinion and thought of our own justice being laid aside.” – John Knox
Today in prayer, seek His power in His promises. He wants us to have “all things that pertain to life and godliness” and He is faithful.
Post inspired by McKim, Donald K. Everyday Prayer with the Reformers (2020). P. 115.
Not everyone has a good friend they can talk to anything about at any time. But we always have God. As David tells us in Psalm 62:8 –
“Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah”
When do we need a refuge? When we have troubles. He wants to hear from us at all times and strengthen and guide us. Martin Luther, commenting on the verse, wrote:
“Strength fades, courage fails; God remains firm. If you are lacking something, well, here is good advice: ‘Pour out your heart before him’ Voice your complaint freely, and do not conceal anything from him. Regardless of what it is, just throw it in a pile before him, as you open your heart completely to a good friend. He wants to hear it, and he wants to give you his aid and counsel. Do not be bashful before him. Out with everything.”
The word Selah at the end of the verse is mysterious, but many believe it is a signal to pause and reflect. What do you want to “throw in a pile before him” now?
 Quoted in McKim, Donald K. Everyday Prayer with the Reformers (2020). P. 37.
The prophet Jonah was angry after God’s grace came to the Gentile city of Nineveh, when they repented and avoided disaster:
“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O LORD, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.’ And the LORD said, ‘Do you do well to be angry?’” – Jonah 4:1-4
Jonah claimed to know God’s character, but also wanted to determine who else could know God and who couldn’t, who gets “justice” and who doesn’t, preventing him from rejoicing in the salvation of Nineveh.
Do we do well to be angry, or do we prefer joy in knowing the God who is sovereign knows what He’s doing? Be glad in the salvation of God, even if He gives it to someone you don’t think deserves it. He knows better.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Note the contrast between what is: outer, wasting away, light, momentary, affliction, seen, transient.
And what is: inner, being renewed, eternal, weighty, glorious, beyond all comparison, unseen, eternal
Both are part of us, but one matters infinitely more than the other. Don’t confuse the two, or you may lose heart.
“Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.” – Philippians 3:17
At the time of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, the gospels of Mark and John probably weren’t written yet, and the other two may not have been broadly available. New Christians couldn’t easily read about Christ, so Paul recommends learning about Him through His other followers.
Today, most will not search the Bible for God. What can people learn about Christ from you and I on our blogs and elsewhere?