I am not just talking about the button you click in order to rejoin your zoom call that reported “unstable internet connection” right before it kicked you off. Or that annoying message that says “server not detected” when your wifi needs reset as you are trying to binge watch in the late evening. Do you ever wish you could go back hit refresh and say something different? Do you ever wish you could hit refresh on a decision? Or refresh what happened as a result of that decision?
Yep, me too, we all need a refresh. Not just a refresher, although let’s face it, some of us are re-leaning into the whole Jesus thing after the Corona crisis has hit, and rightly so. Some of you are like, “Finally, people will grow in their faith, and be more grateful for things like the church.” And still many of us, well, we are considering faith. You keep thinking to yourself, “Am I crazy? Should I really be considering placing my hope in this man Jesus, is this even a trustworthy endeavor?”
Regardless of where you land: Causal but ‘presently leaning in’ Christian, devoted follower, or undecided, but interested, we all need a refresh. Maybe in this season more than ever.
That’s not just my opinion, that’s what Peter, an eyewitness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, as well as the leader of the early church, felt strongly about. As he was nearing the end of his life, Peter was motivated to pen a letter to believers in Jesus, and to those who were a little unsure about faith. These are Peter’s last recorded words. This is what he put his last efforts into! This is what he hoped you and I would think about, and always remember after his death. You and I should lean into what he says…
“I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.” -2 Peter 1:13-15
Listen to the opening of Peter’s letter. After greeting his recipients, who were Jesus followers in the middle of suffering, going through challenges of various kinds, Peter writes…
“His 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. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” -2 Peter 1:3-4
Peter points out incredible truths, that should refresh you today:
God has promised POWER for everything we need. Did you hear that? Through God’s power and incredible promises, we have everything we need to succeed, grow, and be refreshed. We can participate with him regardless of what is happening in our world. In any season, anywhere, any social status, any background, rich or poor, sinner or saint, stay-at-home parent, or a big-wig executive. You have everything you need in this time in history to grow, be successful, and be refreshed! The source of our power, according to the Apostle Paul, comes from the good news (gospel) of Jesus: paying the price for your sin, and defeating death through the resurrection.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” – Romans 1:16
All that is required for you to gain access to this incredible power, the power of resurrection, is to believe. You have to believe that: dead things can come to life, old can be changed for new, dark can turn to light, the worst person can become the best person, the hopeless can have hope, and the lost can be found. Saying you believe in the power of God is synonymous with you saying that you believe that: God appeared to the world through a fully human man, Jesus, who was at the same time, fully the Son of God. You agree that Jesus was payment for your sin, so that you can turn to God and experience seasons of refreshment, even in difficult times. Peter, early in his preaching career, shared these words…
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” – Acts 3:19
A refreshing season for you begins with your decision to turn to God.
And when you do, or do again, you will find a God that is already turned to you, inviting you to experience his power, so you can experience ‘times of refreshing’ in every season of life.
Because God promises his power is present, you can participate. Think about that. To participate is to play a role, to do a part. Likely you have been a participant in some powerful moments. Life-changing moments like your wedding, the birth of your children, watching your favorite sports teams win, really memorable social gatherings, or work projects. Peter reminds you of something incredibly refreshing that God says, “I want YOU to play a role in my great plan for the world.” I don’t just want to save you for later (eternity), but I have a purpose for you today! God’s power is available to you, and you can participate in his wonderful plan for your life. Part of his plan for you is to be refreshed regardless of what circumstances are happening in the world, and regardless of your past. Seasons of refreshing are promised to everyone who turns to God. So what’s next? What does God want me to do? How do I stay refreshed in my soul, when things are happening outside of my control? Peter has an idea…
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith” – 2 Peter 1:5a
Peter suggests, and he would know, that God wants you to ADD to your faith. He himself was on the other end of Jesus’ question during a bad storm, and after a moment of taking his eyes off of Jesus…
“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘Why did you doubt?’” – Matthew 14:31
We do not always have control over our circumstances, but Peter insists we can control our faith. Adding to your faith is the most refreshing thing we can do in any season! Over the next several weeks, we will look deeply into Peter’s strategy (2 Peter 1:5-7) of how we can have a FAITH that will ‘never fail’, according to Peter…
“For if you do these things, you will never stumble.” – 2 Peter 1:10
In the next post we will explore more about what faith is, and how you can begin to add to it. Over the next few weeks, will you allow God to do something in you? Something that will last beyond this season; and leave you refreshed?
Lead Pastor, Southside Church Henry County
Listen to “You’re Not Far” part 7 with Andy Stanley. If you are newer to faith, this message will walk you through a more detailed version of believing in the good news, according to Peter.