2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (NIV)
Bitterness crowded out my joy and I beat myself up over it. Criticism for others surged tempestuously on the inside. These thoughts were not godly or helpful, but trivial and a matter of preference. I refused to let this ugliness slip out my mouth, but the fact they were in my heart troubled me. My attitude was ill-fitting and needed alterations. None of these outfits of grumpiness and self-pity fit right. Yep, I needed to be clothed in Christ, and cleansed from within by His word.
So that’s what I did. The Lord encouraged and strengthened me. Then, it happed again, a few days later.
I happened to share my struggles with a close sister in Christ. She challenged me by asking what verses I found to combat the negative behavior. Hmm, at that moment I wasn’t thinking of any. Yet I fished out the ones that helped me a few days prior. 1 John 4:20 combatted the vial bitterness I had troubles shaking. Matthew 5:48 encouraged me that God’s making me perfect, despite how it looks from inside the mess. Philippians 4:8 helped me refocus on the good instead of the negative. (To read each verse please click on your phone or hover in your computer browser).
She encouraged me with some verses. Galatians 6:2, we shared each others burden, praying for one another. Hebrews 12:14, reminded me to strive for peace with everyone, and holiness needed to see the Lord. Philippians 2:13, encouraged me not to rely on self, but “God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Today’s verse was one of the verse she sent me.
Today’s verse shone with a new perspective of light. I’ve pulled half of this verse from memory before, yet I always filled in words that sounded right in place of ‘power, love and self-control’. Going to the actual verse to re-read it made all the difference in my present circumstance. My ill-feelings toward a loved one were not filled with love. I’d been exercising the self-control part, not letting unhelpful advise out of my mouth. I needed reminder of the power part, but mostly the power to love when it’s hard. As believers, we have God’s Holy Spirit within. He’s the source of godly power, love and self-control. God gave us His Holy Spirit when we first believed. It’s there. We must rest in this — In God and His power to love from the inside out. When the heart is right, the power, love and self-control come supernaturally — Naturally.
In my friend’s kind words, “Don’t beat yourself up in what you are walking through, this is part of God working in you. This is all part of your journey as you grow more and more like Christ who was the first among us. We can be at peace because even though we hear the battle taking place in our minds, we are simply observers because Jesus already won the battle!! It’s over. We are now getting refined and I trust we will get there through Christ just like God promises.”
Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Yes He will!
Dear Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your care to make us like You. Yours is the Kingdom, Power and the Glory, and You care to share it with us! We humble ourselves in Your awesome presence. Let You increase in our hearts, as we cede control to You. ~Amen
Friend, take time to commit today’s verse to memory, or another that touched your heart. Your soul will thank-you!
Matthew 12:34, Proverbs 10:11, Proverbs 4:23
See also, Rest in Thank-ville