I love the way the Lord works! I am always aware that whatever scripture he leads me to study, God has picked it out on purpose. And as for you, reading this right now, I believe that God has also lead you to it for a reason.
This morning, I told my Father that I am very unhappy with the way I am reacting to the fighting and hatred that is happening in the world today. I cringe at the horrific atrocities taking place. It angers me that newscasters and newspapers actually headline them in the spotlight everyday, giving these murders the recognition that the don’t deserve.
I asked God to show me how to handle my behaviour, emotions and thoughts and he led me to 2 Peter 1:1-8.
 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As I read each verse above, (keeping in mind, the reason why God had led me to these particular passages) many different emotions zipped through me. I could feel my entire body and heart tightening and hardening. God wants me to love these enemies! How?
I know that, as a Christian, I am to love everyone! I want to love others the way Jesus does for me but sometimes it’s hard to keep a open heart, especially in these days and situations. If I am truthful, I don’t even want to like the people (and perhaps their entire race) because of the horrific things they are doing to innocent people.
At this point in my writing, I took a deep breath, prayed for peace and guidance. Then together, the Lord and I dug in and broke the scripture down into smaller parts, to find out why He led me (and you) to these particular verses.
Simon (Peter) the apostle, is telling the people that God has already given Christians (believing Jews and Gentiles) his greatest and most precious gifts: faith and righteousness. We gain these gifts by knowing Jesus through his work on the cross.
All Christians can know God on a certain level, however, to gain better knowledge of Him we need to be reading the Bible, talking to God and being around other godly people.
Peter continues by saying “And besides this” (referring to faith, righteousness, free salvation and eternal life) God will give us even more. However, the next set of gifts (qualities) that God will give us will require an whole-hearted effort on our part!
Giving all diligence – (watching over, supervision) Diligence will help us to pay attention to what we are doing, thinking, and behaving. When we give due diligence, we will grow in the Lord.
Faith – We must be content to know and believe that Jesus is our Saviour. We must have faith that even though we have never seen God or Jesus, they are who the Bible says they are and that the Word of God is absolutely true. If something is happening in a way we deem bad, there is a reason for it and so we can relax. God gives his children the ability to have that kind of faith in him and in his ways.
In verse 5, Peter says that we must grow in virtue (high moral standards). In today’s world, it is becoming harder to remain virtuous. However, Peter tells us; that God has given us virtue, we just need to pick it up, put it on and use it.
A Christian CAN behave in a virtuous manner that shows we are different than others. NOT with a “better than you” attitude, but by showing a reflection of who God is and how he can work in us.
Knowledge – God has given each of us the ability to gain knowledge of him. We need understanding of what the Bible is teaching us. It doesn’t do us any good to read the Words of God and not understand them. That’s why he has placed people (Pastors, Sunday school teachers, the Church etc.) in our lives who can help us, teach us, lead us and guide us, as we grow in the Lord. We also need to study and spend some alone time with God. Knowledge is the key to understanding.
Temperance – We need self-control. There are many things we would like to say, act or do that we know we shouldn’t, but we may do them anyway. Have we lost the method or desire of restraint?
We need temperance (self-control) in so many ways. Addictions, for instance, can be seen as lack of self-control. Sometimes our anger can become an addiction. Are we allowing the people or situations of today to beat down our God given gift of temperance? By leaning on the Lord and using self-control, we can overcome.
Patience – Patience is a hard one for many people. We must have the patience to stand in faith, knowing that the Lord is with us at all times. We need to keep our faith that God has everything under control. He will give us the patience to get through whatever is happening in our lives but again, we must pick up the “patience” and put it on. God will only do so much and then it’s up to us to do our part. A good way to wear patience is to remain happy in all circumstances. Smile and wait with patience for whatever has to happen, to happen.
Godliness – If we are to truly love God then we need to have godliness. We need to have a reverential fear of the Lord, that is; to always be in awe of the Lord. Having godliness comes from within and shows outwardly.
Brotherly kindness – It is important to join a church and have Christian friends. We need to have brothers and sisters in the Lord so that we can grow in our faith. By having a relationship with others members of the congregation, we can help and love one another in times of troubles and can lean on each other when we feel weakened in our faith and can rejoice along side of them in the good times. People who know and love the Lord can give us a different type of love and support than those who do not know Him.
Charity – Charity takes form in many different ways. As a Christian, it is our duty to love all mankind, yes even those who persecute us. It is our duty to treat everyone with kindness and love. It is our duty to give love, provide help, not be selfish, but to give willingly to all who need help and to pray for everyone, especially those living in sin. Charity can be seen in a missionary’s life. Some go into situations, knowing the dangers they face but are willing to serve God, regardless to the danger.
God is not saying to let others walk all over us, but to pray for them to change and asking that in the change they might see the error of their ways and come to see the true light of God, through Jesus.
Whether we are in a foreign land or in our own homes, it is our duty to live in a way that shows God working in our lives and to tell others of God and His son Jesus.
I know that the time of this world is winding down to a close and that each day the events we see happening, are things you said would have to take place before the end.
I know God, without a doubt, that you alone are in charge and have total control. I understand that the horrors we see now are brought on by Satan and they have a place in the larger scheme of things.
However Lord, when I am watching the news, my heart automatically turns hard with hatred towards the people and situations that are happening today. I find it hard to keep my heart in a loving state when I hear of beheadings, rapes, murders and bombings, especially when innocent people are involved. Each time I see or hear about another incident taking place, I feel my anger growing.
I ask you Father to help me. I know that to hold any emotion not based in love, is a sin and sin comes from the enemy. I confess Father that I am holding a lot of sin: anger, resentment and many times even hatred. And worse than that, at times I hold judgment towards an entire race, many of whom are truly innocents.
Lord, I can feel myself slipping away from you as satan slowly creeps into my being through this anger and hatred. I need your help so that I can live a godly life, especially now, when sin is growing rapidly and wickedness runs rampant.
I come before you right now asking for forgiveness. I confess to you, that my heart is hardened against these enemies and their ways. I confess to you that voicing my anger sometimes give me a “way to blow off steam”. I confess that when I see a person of a particular race, my heart goes cold. I confess to you that in all of these situations (and more), I cannot and do not let Jesus been see in me. I am so sorry Lord that I let you down and I repent of these sins.
I ask that you would forgive me, cleanse me and then teach me how to be worthy of living a life of diligence, faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity, in all situations, whether I deem them good or bad.
I now consciously accept your forgiveness and grace Lord. I thank you for loving me so much that you can and have forgiven me and allowed me a clean start.
Father, please tell me how I am to love the people who are causing so much pain and loss to others. His answer…
As a Christian, hold firmly onto Jesus and stand solidly in Him and in love, regardless of what I am seeing taking place in the natural world.
I am to live in a manner that pleases God, despite what my earthly situations may be.
I am to pray fervently for ALL of my sisters and brothers (including those of different colours and races). It is difficult to keep a hardened heart when I am praying for them!
And I am to remember: If, as a Christian, I don’t set an example of the goodness of God, then who will?
Thank you Lord, for revealing to me the ways in which I can lean on you during these last days of satan’s rule of our world.
Thank you that “through Jesus Christ who strengthens me” I can truly pray for those that I would actually want to curse.
Thank you that you will help me to stay above the hatred. Please have the Holy Spirit convict me right away, if I fall short. Please have him immediately encourage me to repent and make things right. I know that if my hatred were to continue to grow, I would be of no use to you.
Thank you for keeping my feet firmly planted on the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you that “His strength in me” will be seen, in all situations, enabling me to outwardly bless and confess the name of Jesus.
I thank you for leading me to this scripture as it has empowered me (as always) to know you in a deeper sense and will help me to live an honourable life serving you, when and wherever you need me.
In the name of my Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, I pray.