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Blog-When-You-Are-Stuck...-05.16.17

Stuck. Have you ever been there? Or, maybe you are there now.

I have. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually.

What do you do to get moving again? How do you get momentum spiritually?

Christian friend, I have one passage to share with you to help you get started. This is not the only passage that is helpful or that even has every answer. But, it is a passage that has recently been encouraging me and a few of my counselees.

2 Peter 1:2-11

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 

But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 

10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Let me encourage you with two incredible truths from this passage.

First, when you were saved through Jesus Christ, you received everything you need for life and godliness (vv. 2-4). Upon entering in a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Bible teaches that you became a Christian. When you did, here Peter teaches that you received everything you need to live a life that pleases God. You are not missing anything! Everything.

If you are stuck, there is hope. If you believe you are trapped, there is possibility. If you caught, there is potential. If you are discouraged, there is promise. Not in your abilities or your intellect or your own ingenuity, the hope you have is in Christ. Christ works in you to provide you the ability to move again, breathe again, and hope again.

The Bible tells you that you are no longer a slave to sin. You participate in the divine nature which enables you to have victory over lust. Christ makes it possible, yes, even for you.

Second, you now need to put all your energy into your relationship with Christ (vv. 5-9). Peter says to give all diligence to add to your faith the characteristics of Christ which include virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Instead of focusing only on the past or worrying about the future, consider what the Bible says about your character and responding to your immediate circumstances. Peter challenges you to put all your energy into your relationship with Christ. When you do, he promises that you will have success in your efforts.

How do you give all diligence? As a Christian it begins with focusing on Christ every day (usually as soon as you wake up). Consider the gospel, Who Christ is, what Christ has done, what Christ is doing, and what Christ promises. Think about the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in your life. Meditate on benefits and blessings of salvation. Remind yourself of the power, sovereignty, and covenant faithfulness of God. Rehearse some favorite verses that help get your mind focused. Pray these thoughts and verses back to God in worship.

Practically speaking, write these things down. You can read them every morning. What you will find is that you begin to memorize these truths which makes for easy recall throughout your day. Until then, take one or two important truths of the gospel and write it on a card or something small to keep in your pocket. Read it over and over as you go through your day. In other words, begin to put your diligence in adding. Diligence begins in what you are thinking and upon what you are dwelling.

Once you have began to intentionally think about what is true, apply those truths to your circumstance. Since what the Bible teaches is true – about God, Christ, the Spirit, being in Christ, salvation, and you as a person – how do those truths apply to your immediate situation? What is the significance to you right now? Again, this is the second place you want to put your diligence.

Begin to move again. Although it will be slow, you can begin to make progress, dream, breathe, and sense the hope you have in Christ. It happens one moment at a time. In the past you have spent your energy on something – we all do every day. You possibly placed your energy into worry, fear, rehearsing the wrongs, focusing on your desires, getting a fix, supporting a habit, and in many other areas. Now, recognizing that God has given you everything you need for life in godliness in Christ, you turn your energy and give all your diligence to walking with Christ. As you give your best diligence, you will see change. God promises. And friend, we can trust Him.

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Where have you seen progress in the past as you have focused on Christ and the gospel?

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