Have you ever said to yourself, “I just can’t do this anymore.”? You know it is something God has called you to do, but it is hard. You are tired and ready to give up. No, I’m not talking about things you have felt pressured to do or things you impulsively said “Yes.” to without thinking. I’m talking about things you thought about long and hard and prayed about. Or things that because of promises to your spouse or child, you were committed to.
And they haven’t played out in the ways you thought they would, or the reality of the ways they have played out has been different…so constant and menial and mundane. You knew God wanted you here, but it is just too hard. Some days, you may even be including expletives in there before the hard. That is how bad it is.
This benediction is for people like us! It is not one you will commonly hear at the end of a worship service, but it has the ingredients found in many of the benedictions, so it can qualify.
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,
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.
II Peter 1:2-4 ESV
Blessing of grace and peace being multiplied to us as we get to know God
He offers the blessing of grace and peace being multiplied to us as we get to know God. How do we do that? The best way to do it is through reading God’s Word and prayer. I’m not talking about prayer where I edit everything I say to Him, never getting upset, using only King James English. I’m talking about prayer as I talk to Him about what I am thinking in ways that David, Job, and many of the prophets did! They were blunt, to say the least.
Look at the Psalms and the books written by these men. They would rail against God over injustice in the world regarding rich and poor as well as evil triumphing over good. They were honest about how He was dealing with HIs people. They often did not understand what He was doing at all!
As we are honest with God, trusting Him to keep His promises to us, moving forward in obedience, His grace and peace will be multiplied to us. It is quite a promise, isn’t it?
His divine power has granted all things that pertain to life and godliness
What a powerful promise! “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” I heard this a few years back and it has stuck with me when I want to make excuses for why I can’t do something I know God has called me to do. He may have called us to do the mundane jobs of caring for our children or care for older loved ones who are sick or aging. Right now for me, it is caring kindly and patiently for my husband. I don’t have to do a lot in terms of physical care right now, but I do need to be patient with someone who is forgetful. It is a rerun of skills I learned in caring for my children when they were young.
When we raised our children, the mundane was mixed with the important. That is the story of all of life.
Although the work we do there is not glamorous, it is important. We are loving them and instilling a love for the things we love, into them. We encourage them to be curious about the world around them, to learn to talk and speak well. We also teach them how to relate to people who are their age as well as to adults.
Hopefully, we are teaching them to bring their needs to Jesus as well. By our actions, we are teaching them who He is and to love Him. But this carries through to other stages of life…the years when they are teens, young adults. Now my children are middle aged adults and their children are finishing high school and starting college on down to junior high.
What am I doing? Caring for their grandfather. He can still care for himself in many ways, but he does have vascular dementia as a result of 4 strokes. I’m fortunate. He is still able to get around and is still healthy. But we have had some falls and emergency room trips in the past. Some days, the same question gets repeated frequently. But God has promised that His divine power has granted me the ability to respond to him with kindness rather than rudeness or sarcasm. And that is what this verse is all about, isn’t it? It is often changing me in seemingly small areas, not apparently big ones. But that is often where godliness lies, isn’t it?
We have His divine power available to live a godly life!
We have His divine power available to us for whatever is needed to live a life of godliness. What an amazing promise! How often do you feel weak in faith or weak in the outworking of your faith? This promise is that if you are in Christ, you will have the power needed to live the life God has called you to. And that is only one of the many promises God gives us in His Word! As we learn and obey His promises, we will actually taste of the divine nature as we grow in grace. What a picture! Getting to know God and His promises and as we “eat” them, we are also partaking of God’s nature. What a beautiful contrast to the world around us.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13 ESV
As His children, we have escaped the power of corruption from sin to have power over us because Jesus won the victory over sin on our behalf. We don’t have to sin. We are now able to resist it because of what Jesus did on the cross. We don’t have to live weak, ineffective Christian lives. We can now live in the power of God as we get to know Him better through His Word and prayer.
- Make time to pray today for for the parts of your situation that are making you feel overwhelmed. Thank God for one of His attributes. If you can’t think of one, look at this benediction. As areas of weakness come to mind, ask Him for His power to be applied to that area and open your eyes to ways He can better use that power in your life.
- Ask God for help in your particular situation. Are there people you could ask for help? Are there people you could ask to pray for you? Have you talked to anyone in your church to see if there is help for you? If you were asking for help, where would you most need it? Make a list so if anyone wants to help you, you could tell them what you need. Be prepared to answer the question, “How can we help?” with something concrete rather than “Oh we’re fine.” It may be that you just need a person to come over for a visit to talk to you while your loved one is taking a nap. If that is the case, tell them. or meet you for coffee while they are are at physical therapy. Those aren’t small things.
- If you are reading this and aren’t a caregiver, think about those in your church or neighborhood who are. Check with one of them to see what you could do to help lighten their load. Those might even be better words to use than the more common ones of “How can I help?” You might even give them a choice of 2 options. When you are with them, even if you aren’t sure they are a Christian, you could ask their permission to pray for them and even ask if there is anything special they would like prayer for. Often they will respond to that.