Have you ever experienced a spiritual power outage?
For many, it's going to the doctor and hearing bad news. It's going to work and learning you've been laid off. It's answering the phone call that says your child is in trouble. It's watching the stock market plunge as you're about to retire. These things and more are bound to happen to you and me, for we have many troubles in this world.
That's why Peter began his second letter by telling us about God's almighty power. It's His power that provides everything we need to overcome the trials of life—to live the life for which we were created. If that feels big and inspiring, well ... it is!
Verse 3a says, "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness." What is godliness? What does it mean to live a godly life?
Godliness encompasses behaviors, words and attitudes that reflect what God would do on earth if He were to come down as a person—as He did during the incarnation of Jesus Christ. A godly life manifests the purity and purpose of God from the inside out. It's literally a matter of Christ living His life through us consistently by means of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Godliness may seem too lofty a goal to attempt. And it is—if you attempt it in your own power. But Peter was pointing you toward a power that will enable you to live a godly life. What kind of power can do that?
It's Unlimited Power
Is the sun shining outside your window today? I hope so, because I want you to consider the incredible power of solar energy. Our sun is a blinding star, so huge that about one million Earths could fit inside it.
It takes only eight minutes for a beam of light and heat to travel 93 million miles from the sun to the earth, and it arrives right on schedule and in the exact proportion needed to sustain life on our planet.
The temperature at the surface of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature at its core may reach 27 million degrees. The sun never shuts down, though it may occasionally flare up. Essentially, it's a gaseous ball of continuously occurring nuclear explosions, radiating energy uniformly in all directions throughout the solar system.
Every second, the sun produces enough energy to power human civilization for almost 500,000 years. Imagine if we could collect and use all that energy! And that's only one second of its power. The sun has enough nuclear fuel to burn for another 5 billion years.
Yet the sun is only one medium-size star in a universe filled with trillions of others. Astronomers estimate there are 100 billion to 400 billion stars in our galaxy. And images from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest there may be a trillion other galaxies in the universe!
Think of all the energy radiating from all those stars and ask yourself, "What source of power could so animate the universe? Where did all this energy come from?"
It comes from God. His power can light up the universe, fire up the stars, power the planets, move the oceans in their undulating tides and give life to every creature on earth without being diminished by one kilowatt.
Since God has all the power in the universe at His command, God can do anything He chooses. And here is the incredible truth that should shake you to the core whenever you feel unequipped to handle what life throws at you: God has chosen to give you access to the greatness of His power.
The word "power" was in the vocabulary of nearly every Old and New Testament writer. If you go through the Scripture highlighting this word, you'll run out of yellow ink.
The Bible says, "Power belongs to God ... Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and the earth is Yours" (Ps. 62:11a; 1 Chron. 29:11a).
Consider Paul's prayer for the Ephesians: "[I pray] ... that you may know ... what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He performed in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places" (Eph. 1:18–20).
Paul used the word dunamis to refer to God's power toward us, the word from which we get dynamite. Dynamite can do many things, but it can't raise the dead. But that's what the power of God did in the Resurrection of Christ. And that's the power of Christ that resides in you.
God's power is unlimited. Human power gives out, and we ourselves become weary. But the Bible says those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength (Isa. 40:31).
If you're a follower of the Son who shines in all His brilliance, then you're never powerless. There is no problem or situation in life for which God's mighty power, given to you, is not adequate.
This is an adaptation from Dr. Jeremiah's upcoming book, Everything You Need, now available for pre-order.
Dr. David Jeremiah is among the best-known Christian leaders in the world. He serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and is the founder and host of Turning Point. Turning Point's 30-minute radio program is heard on more than 2,200 radio stations daily. A New York Times' bestselling author and Gold Medallion winner, he has written more than 50 books.
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