2 Peter 1:3-4
3 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, 4 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.
How do we become partakers of the divine? How do we escape the corruption that is everywhere in our world because of sin? Peter says it is through the precious and very great promises of God! This is very important that we know and live these promises!
On the YouVersion app, there is a bible study plan by Jud Wilhite called ‘Uncaged’. The focus of the study was the promises of God, knowing and living in the power and freedom of these precious and very great promises.
In the study, Jud tells this story about an incident at the Los Angeles Zoo. An employee named Gary Richmond noticed a cage full of fifteen red-tailed hawks kept in a back room, leftover evidence in a defunct poaching case. They could not be displayed and would likely die in captivity. So, being a rebel at heart, Richmond decided to “accidentally” leave their cage door open and give them a chance to escape back into the wild. Returning an hour later, he was shocked to see that all of the hawks were still there. So he charged at them like a bear, trying to scare them out. Most of them flew a few feet away but looked back longingly at the cage that had become their home. The hawks got so used to a caged life that they forgot what it meant to be free. Eventually, he gave up and herded them back into their cage.
Each day, we have the opportunity to really trust in God’s true, biblical promises and live in the freedom we have through our relationships with Jesus. We’ve been set free and the cage door is open, but too often we would rather have predictability instead of purpose, boredom instead of bravery, and the empty promise of our cage instead of the unlimited promise of freedom.
So, let’s look at some of the precious and very great promises of God in the next few issues of the CommunityLink.
PROMISE 1: I will be with you.
Often God leads us into places where we feel overwhelmed. The promise given by God himself is “I will be with you.” Not a promise that things will always be comfortable, convenient, safe or painless. But a promise to be with us. He promises to walk with us through overwhelming scenarios.
This promise is spelled out in Isaiah 41:10: “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
John Piper noted the prepositions that come from this passage about God’s presence with us:
“I am your God”… God is over you.
“I am with you” … God is beside you.
“I will strengthen you” … God is in you.
“I will help you” … God is around you.
“I will hold you up” … God is underneath you.
Because his presence to help, is over, beside, inside, around, and underneath you, your temporary fear and discouragement lose their power. Instead, courage and strength flow into you even when it feels like life’s coming off the hinges.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
27 The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath you are the everlasting arms.
Remember that in all situations, in the good, the bad and the indifferent God has promised that He will be with you, what then shall you fear (Deut 31:8).
In faith, hope, and love
Steve and Cass Abram