Today I return to writing my inspirational blog. I’m completing the final read-through of Refuge this week after devoting the first part of the month to editing the novel and tweaking the study guide. At the same time, I’ve been experiencing one of the lowest lows of my life.
Since I wrote Refuge in 2009, this entire process of revising and seeking publication has been a challenge. When I signed the contract with Koehler Books my mother-in-law was fighting and losing a death match with cancer. Now I have chronic fatigue and multiple health problems as I battle daily discouragement. I blogged about this in August and September.
Becoming an author hasn’t been sunshine and roses. It has been life.
Life is where we learn that without the constant grace and empowerment of Jesus we really cannot live as we hope and aspire to live. It really is true. If we didn’t know it when we started out as bright-eyed ingénue Christians, we learn it after any amount of time on the narrow way.
We don’t need Jesus for only our salvation. We need Jesus for our daily lives.
2 Peter 1:3-4a tells us that Jesus’ “divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (v.4) Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature…”
Those one-and-a-half verses are packed! Let’s unpack them. Everything hinges on who Jesus is.
Jesus’ glorious and admirable character and his superior goodness and virtue drive everything he thinks and does. Jesus is the embodiment of God in the flesh. From the reality of his “glory and goodness” (v. 3), we have it all! Because of who Jesus is, he is impelled to love, to give, to save, and to help us. Because his character is spotless, his sacrifice for our sins was accepted by God.
If Jesus were not who he is, we would not have one iota of hope.
But, because of his excellent character, he calls us (v. 3) and he gifts us with faith (it says earlier in v. 2)—a faith that is as precious in his eyes as the faith of the apostles and founders of the church. And because of his merciful, praiseworthy, and reliable nature, he bestows upon us promises so precious and great that we can stake our eternity on them (v. 4).
Jesus’ character is so important in this equation that knowledge and belief in him and the trustworthiness of his promises is the propelling force for a godly life.
We cannot live pure, moral, and virtuous lives unless we have his example before our eyes. And so we seek to know him and to learn of him from his written Word, and we grab hold of his faithful pledges to us. Even then, we cannot do it without his very Self—his divine nature—inside of us empowering the change.
Jesus’ divine power as God in the flesh gives us the desire to change, the power to change, and the yielded hearts to be able to change. He does it all. His own Spirit within us is the powerhouse.
Right now, as I battle health obstacles to work on this story to which I’ve devoted five years of my life, that is very good news! I have the divine powerhouse within me—Jesus’ own Holy Spirit, because he loved me enough to call me, to give me faith, to save me, and to set out to change me. He has promised.
He has given me everything I need. And it is him.
I cannot do this without him. You can’t either. We’re all in the same condition. We need Jesus. He wants us to find him. He wants to save, to help, and to empower us.
How does that truth give you hope and courage for today?
Here’s more on The Powerhouse.
Both black-and-white photos licensed by Creative Commons.