Just about every Christian radio station you listen to has its daily “power verse.” While I appreciate a good Bible verse every day, I wonder how many Christians actually allow the Scriptures to strengthen their daily lives?
Do we seek God’s word for His wisdom and strength to get through our workaday lives, or are we using Bible verses like a quick charge from an energy drink? Of course, turning to the Bible for strength in moments of weakness does help us get through the day, but God wants us to thrive instead of just survive.
This past Sunday our pastor Dr. Dennis Brunet was preaching on “Living a Life of Abiding Joy.” He taught that our circumstances should not determine our perspective on life, that we can have an indestructible joy. When we receive criticism that can sometimes hurt us to the quick, we need to keep our priorities straight.
His third point is the one that really got me to thinking. Pastor Dennis said no matter what crisis I am facing, that I have a choice on which power I’m going to live. He said, “The power of God is at our disposal.”
Pastor Dennis was not saying that we can “name it and claim it” when it comes to facing our circumstances. He was teaching us that I can live in my own power, allowing my feelings to affect my path. Or I can live according to the Word of God and understand that living for Jesus will meet all my needs:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
God knows all that I need and is aware of everything that is happening in my life. Nothing takes God by surprise. When you look at the life of the Apostle Paul, his life took so many twists and turns, beginning with his conversion. It would be understandable if he came to the end of his life feeling like a defeated and bitter man.
What many radio stations like to use as a daily power verse, and is my oldest daughter’s life verse, was one that Paul penned chained to a Roman guard at the end of his life:
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
If preaching and teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ becomes illegal in America, will I be able to say what Paul said if I am in jail for refusing to obey man’s laws? I wonder if any of those in the Philippian congregation thought to themselves, “Well Paul, if you can do all things through Christ, then why don’t you get yourself out of prison so you can do what you went to Rome to do?”
As Pastor Dennis taught last Sunday, if we take the wrong perspective towards our circumstances it can steal our joy. Paul did not see his imprisonment as an obstacle; quite the contrary he praised God for the opportunity:
“But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” (Philippians 1:12-14)
Beloved, if we try to live in our own power, then we are short-circuiting our Christian walk before we take one step forward. Our salvation is found in Jesus Christ, not just at conversion but also in our circumstances. God gives us all the power to do what we need and not necessarily what we want. We need to remember the God of our salvation:
“By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us, O God of our salvation, You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of the far-off seas; Who established the mountains by His strength, being clothed with power.” (Psalm 65:5-6)
In whom are you placing your confidence to see you through your day? If you are a born again Christian, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you to allow you to use the wonderful gift of God’s power to thrive every day, no matter your circumstances.
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, then you’ve no doubt already failed in life trying to live in your own strength. Sometimes it is a good thing to give up, to let go and let God.
Won’t you turn to Jesus today?
His grace and mercy is always at our disposal.
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Copyright © 2016 David Jeffers