His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 2 Peter 1:3
The verse above has officially become my new life verse. Read it again (or for the first time if you skimmed it!). A casual reading might give you a warm fuzzy. "Oh, how nice, God has give me all things. I heard that in church last week. Nice thought. Very uplifting."
Contrary to the way many Christians treat the Bible, it is NOT a self-help book, nor is it a psychology book filled with uplifting ideas and encouraging advice. The Bible can be labeled many valid things: a romance novel (yes!), God's plan for humanity, a rescue-adventure, a weapon (double-edged sword that can defeat enemies on both sides!), but the Bible is also power--the power to restore you and me to the life Adam and Eve had in the garden of Eden. Maybe not in the physical sense in this world, but in the spiritual sense where we walk and talk with God in the cool of the evening, where we have access to all His provision, power, and guidance.
Peter wrote his second letter from Rome, where he was soon to be crucified upside down for Jesus. Nero was the emperor, a cruel man intent on torturing Christians by throwing them to the Lions and also by setting them on fire like candles. Peter had seen his share of troubles and trials. It's amazing to me that he could still write that God's power has given us ALL things that pertain to Life and Godliness.
What things pertain to life? Food, water, shelter, clothing, employment, family, friends, health....
What things pertain to Godliness? Faith, love, hope, joy, patience, endurance, kindness, self-control, goodness...etc.
To me, this is one of the most powerful Scriptures in the Bible (aside from those extolling salvation) This is a huge promise from God!. Think about the past tense "has given". That means God has already made all provision for our lives before we were even born. He already knew everything we would need and He provided it. Problem is, some of us never see all that provision. Why? Maybe we just aren't looking for it. Maybe we don't believe God will provide. Maybe we are too busy complaining.
I'm not saying that life will be easy or problem free, or that sometimes we get sick or people die, I'm saying that in the middle of all of life's trials, God always provides what we need.
I'll give you an example from my recent nightmarish flight to and from Tennessee. I blogged about it last week if you're interested. I hate to fly and get extremely stressed flying across the country. Before and during each flight, I had people praying for everything to go well. Not only did things not go well, they went disastrously bad! After having several flight delays, missed connections, 6 hours in the Chicago airport, and finally getting stuck in Dallas overnight, I started to wonder if God was punishing me for something. I actually got mad at Him! Funny how you think you're so spiritual and so far long in your walk with God until something bad happens.
After calming down, I actually did repent of my bad attitude and prayed for His will to be done. What I should have also prayed for was to reveal His provision. You see, based on the promise above, God knew this was going to happen and promised to provide what I needed. Note: He doesn't promise to get you out of the trial (though He does that sometimes), but He does promise to provide a way through. Regardless of my ignorance in the matter, my prayer for God's was enough apparently, because several miracles took place.
As I was standing in line waiting to get rebooked on another flight after mine was cancelled (Mind you, it was late at night and I'd been traveling all day and this was my last flight home) I kept overhearing the agent say that there were NO flights heading out to San Jose that night or even tomorrow until late in the evening. My heart was sinking. However, when I made it to the podium and she looked up my name, she said that I was already booked on a flight to San Jose the next morning at 6:00 am !! She was even surprised at this, wondering how that happened!
Mind you, I was all alone in a strange city at a strange airport trying to find my way to a shuttle that would take me to a strange hotel. I was scared. But God connected me with a really nice family in the same predicament so I didn't feel alone, and together we ended up finding our way to the shuttle and the hotel. The next morning at 4:00 am as I waited for the shuttle back to the airport without much sleep, God, once again connected me with a couple my age and they sort of took me under their wing and even bought me coffee at the airport! The last miracle was that once I got to San Jose, my luggage was there too! I really didn't expect that.
I made it home a day late and pretty tired, but I made it, nonetheless. And I learned an important lesson. God is always with me, no matter if I'm mad at Him or I feel like He's abandoned me. And once I turned to Him, He could release the provisions He had long ago provided for me in that situation. So, the next time you get bad news or get in a jam or face a fierce problem, bow your knee and ask God for His provision in the trial. Then thank Him and expect Him to come through.