I Love That Guy!


So many people seem to be able to relate to the apostle Peter. His zeal for Jesus coupled with his failures at critical times make him a beloved figure in the Bible. Everyone has experienced the “high” of Peter’s passion and the “low” of his failures making him someone who we can easily empathize with.

 

One of the things that Peter speaks about we have all experienced in life: suffering.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:3-7

Suffering and persecution can cause either growth or bitterness. The response of the individual determines the result. Since no one  is exempt from suffering or persecution, it is important for us to learn how to successfully navigate these realities. Successful navigation of suffering and persecution is the primary lesson of First Peter.

Peter begins his letter by pointing out a reality as powerful as the certainty of persecution. The reality he speaks of is important to the navigation of suffering.

First, he reminds the believers that:

  1. They are equipped to handle anything they face.

The trials of the present or those in the future have already been seen by the foreknowledge of God. Nothing catches Him off guard. God is not making plans “on the fly” but has a plan for (let’s make this personal) you that is from all eternity. God has seen every move by the enemy in advance and has already prepared His move that brings about “checkmate”. You are the elect of God. That means you are chosen for this moment. You are chosen to overcome this moment, not to be defeated by your sufferings. You have been born again which means every aspect of your character that would spell defeat for you has been broken off of you and you are being sanctified by the Spirit of Jesus. The very aspects of Jesus that brought Him through His time of trial victoriously are being worked into you at this very moment! You are covered by, washed in, and regenerated by the blood of Jesus! You are not facing what you are going through as “Parkey Cobern: sometimes ok and sometimes not”, you are going through this as a regenerated child of God under the authority of the Spirit with goodness and mercy running right beside you! You have died to what defeats you and are alive to the power of God!

  1. They are guaranteed to win!

Let’s make this personal again: Peter reminds us that we have an inheritance reserved in heaven for us that cannot be messed up by Satan or you: an inheritance that cannot lose its value over time, like some 401K weakened by bad circumstances, nor is can it just disappear on you like some of the people and things you value in life. Your victory and the accompanying spoils are kept in heaven for you, guarded by a God who has already kicked the devil out of heaven with no chance of his interference in the future!

To overcome whatever you are facing, it is essential that you remember that your victory is assured!!!!!

  1. God, not the devil is in control of how “hot” things get!

To successfully navigate persecution and suffering, you must realize that God, not the devil is in control of how “hot” things get in your life! If you believe Satan is controlling things, then you will get discouraged because you know how full of hate he is. But, if you know that God is in control of your trial, then you realize that love is actually controlling your fate and that the trial is destined, not for your destruction but to work toward your growth and the promotion of God’s glory!

Verse 5 tell us that we are “kept” by the power of God through faith for salvation to be revealed. This is an important statement. The word “kept” means that we have a military like guard around us which has been authorized to use whatever force that is necessary to ensure that the will of God is done in our lives! Do you see them? They are present and will fulfill their mission!

Verse 5 also states that our faith in God is assuring an outcome for us known as salvation. The word “salvation” means deliverance! The outcome of your situation is deliverance!

Another truth of verse 5 is that this deliverance is destined to be revealed! So, when you put this all together, you know that:

I’m equipped to handle anything I face!

My victory is guaranteed and reserved for me!

God, not the devil is in control of what is happening to me!

I am guarded by angels authorized to use whatever force necessary to fulfill the will of God!

Deliverance is my destiny!

In the perfect time, I will see the manifestation!

 

The Secret to Winning in Every Occassion


It is humbling to write something that can be read by the general public.

You know why?

Because you just don’t know what people are going through!

Even though the title of this blog may seem overly simplistic, my desire is not to put forth trite, condescending answers to complex issues. I never want people to feel like their feelings are not validated and I don’t want people to think that their experiences are not important. As someone who has gone through hopeless and dark situations, I feel greatly for those who are in such places today.

Let me share with you a scripture that gives me the confidence to give this blog the title I’ve given it today:

Hebrews 4:15-16 – “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In my own times of intense struggle, I had a revelation come to me that, at first, helped me to hang on and later, empowered me to overcome what I was facing. This revelation is encapsulated in the scripture from Hebrews and elaborated upon in chapters six and seven of Romans.

In this scripture, I learned the following truths:

Jesus has been right where I am now.

The Bible clearly tells us that Jesus was in all points tempted as we are. Therefore, He does not condemn us for what we are going through. This is a wonderful truth to know when you are going through something that is powerfully complex or strange to the outsider. No matter where you are right now, your trial is not as strange as you think.

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

What a wonderful word when you are struggling!

This is saying that the core problem I’m facing is a common occurrence; not something unique and “weird”. This knowledge helps me to know that I’m not alone in my struggle. Others have been and currently are in the same place I’m in today. But, most importantly, Jesus has been where I’m at and He is sympathizing with me!

Jesus overcame what I am experiencing.

Jesus went through and came out of what I’m going through!

How?

Through the power of the Holy Spirit!

The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you and that Spirit will give life to your mortal body through His Spirit (Romans 8:11). According to Romans six, you are dead to the temptations of the world and alive to Christ in God. This helped me so much when I embraced it. The part of me that is addicted, hopelessly depressed, suicidal, etc., is dead and in the grave through my baptism into His death. The life I now live is a new life lived in the Spirit of God! (Galatians 2:20, 2 Corinthians 5:17)

I now refuse to accommodate lies that say anything to the contrary and I refer all such discussion regarding my status to Jesus! Patterns of unhealthy thinking can be broken, but you have to have a basis of truth to change them. The fact that you are alive in Christ is the truth you need to be free from your situation!

At Christ’s throne, I find the mercy and grace I need to overcome.

God has invited us to partake from the authority of His love and His power. The authority of His love means that all other opinions regarding who you are as a person are not valid before His throne.

Romans 8:33-34 – “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns?”

Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, sin is separated from your life and no longer identifies you. Your identity is found in Christ’s love for you. No other voice is higher in authority than His.

Grace is a great word that means “power”. God is handing out power today to those who need it to be free. Step forward and take what He desires for you to have! You are alive in Christ by His Spirit. His Spirit is not addicted or depressed or hopeless and neither are you!

One final note about 1 Corinthians 10:13:

Jesus provides a way out that begins with Him.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). But, He also makes a way in the wilderness that leads you out (Isaiah 43:19). If He shows you that you need to do something to help bring His purposes to pass in your life; such as get into godly counseling or go to a doctor, etc., then do it! Don’t waste time arguing with God! You won’t win that argument! If He is telling you to do something, it is because that step is essential to your healing and deliverance.

“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18

Trust Him! He knows what He is doing!

You are loved and valued by heaven and on earth! Receive the love that God has for you by incorporating these truths. You are not destined for destruction but to overcome in the Name of Jesus!

I speak life over you and bind the spirit of death in the Name of Jesus!