‘… he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature…’ 2 Peter 1.4
Another truth that this verse gives us about God’s promises is that they are not simply words of hope for the future or for whatever difficult situation we might be facing, but also that as we lay hold of them something wonderful happens – they change us. How can this be?
We have looked at the fact that the promises of God flow from his love and goodness, so when we reach out and claim them we are touching his love and making a choice to live as Jesus did – not by the evidence of what was surrounding him but by what he chose to believe in his heart. One example is the love of God. On a human level there were probably many occasions when Jesus could have been seriously discouraged. There were times when the power to perform a stunning work of healing flowed through him and yet the leaders started complaining rather than giving thanks to God, or the occasion when he preached and many of his followers walked away because they did not like what he said. He came up against opposition frequently. Yet despite this, Jesus chose to hold on to the truth of both his Father’s love for him and presence with him, and it is probably holding on to this promise that moved him every day to set about the Father’s work.
When we act like Jesus, we become like him. By choosing to look away from the discouragements and focus on the promise of God’s love we stand in his shoes and, as Peter says, we begin to ‘participate in the divine nature’.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission