You Are Not Helpless

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 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,” (2 Peter 1:2–3, ESV)

As I prepare and study 2 Peter, the first chapter, for the next 8 weeks of teaching  at Compelled Church,  it has dawned on me that we are not helpless as followers of Christ.  After pastoring for 30 years, I have encountered many people that have this mentality when we experience the hard times and challenges of life.  When difficulties come we  are not without divine help to make it through.  We cannot melt-down, act like victims, throw in the towel,  reject our faith  or become co-dependent on others when hard times come.  This is not God’s way for his people. He has provided power for us.

How?  Read the verses at the top.  God has granted us his divine power for all that we need in this life.  When Jesus left he sent His presence, the Holy Spirit, to live in our souls.  The Holy Spirit is the presence of Jesus. He is our  divine power. He is with us.  We need to understand this, tap into  our faith by growing in the knowledge of Jesus.

We grow in faith by growing inn knowledge and we grow in knowledge by taking in the truths of God, through teaching, reading, listening, and discussing the Bible.  We also grow in knowledge or knowing Jesus, by experience Him.  We do that through life, through worship, in relationship, while we serve, and as we pray.  If you are not experiencing Jesus in a real way, you are missing how knowing the Lord really happens.

So when hard times come in this life, and they will, do not have crisis.  Do not act helpless. Do not question God’s goodness. Jjust grow. Lean into your faith. Lean into surrender, and the power of the Holy Spirit, and you will make it through trials and become better through them, not bitter.

Pastor Nate Elarton

Never Quit, never buckle, never stop..Persevere!

I am speaking today at the Toledo Campus,  on one of the most critical and important subjects for the believer.  the route for the Christian that leads to maturity is paved with life’s trials and troubles, that we must encounter with great perseverance. I am speaking from Romans 5.1-5. Here are a couple of the verses. “More than that we rejoice in our sufferings, know that suffering produces endurance (perseverance), and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” ESV

So are you suffering in life? Many are.  Through it Christ is going to give you the endurance or perseverance you need to come out with character and a greater faith and hope in Christ than ever for you will grow closer to Jesus, as you cling to Him through the storm. The Greek word for perseverance is “Hupomone” which means “the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty.”  I think of Matthew 7 where Jesus said we had to have our life on the foundation of the rock to withstand the storms and not the sand.  I think of people who have walked away from Christ when storms come and they say if God would have loved them this would not have happened.  Jesus never promised that our life would not be difficult, stormy, even at times painful. But he did promise us that he would give us perseverance, His presence, and His power to hold up and out in the face of hard times.

When life, the devil, or others throw everything they have at you.  Stand, endure, and persevere!  Keep you eyes and life on and close to Jesus and you are going to make it with a greater depth and maturity than you ever though possible (Hebrews 12.1-2).  Never give up, never quit, never buckle, because hope in Christ is never disappoint you, but lead you to victory.  The peaceful skies away from the storm are coming!!

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