The Power of Peace, Patience, and Perseverance

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you

Acts 1:8

Over the next few blogs, I will be looking at the power of God, the peace that God offers us, how we become patient in an impatient world, and finally how perseverance is how we make it through.

I love reading Paul’s letters all throughout the New Testament. He is a true faithful man of God; following Him to the very end. He has this powerful transformation from killing Christians, to literally stoping in the middle of the road, to being a redeemed child of God. He experienced the Power of God, received Peace, which allowed him to be Patient, in order to Persevere to the very end.

Power, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is “the ability or right to control people or things.” In the world we live in there are examples of power everywhere. One of the first things that comes to my mind when I think of power is a really strong man in a weight-lifting competition. The grunt that he (or she) takes right as they are lifting the dumbbell over their head. Then I also think of world leaders and how they have this power over people to make decisions that will effect their nation. But then I think about how many meetings they have to attend in order to make that decision. They have to consult all these people. Is that really power?

Sure the weight-lifter has power over the weight being lifted, and world leaders have power over people; but I don’t think these are great examples of power. There’s only one ultimate example of Power and that is God. He created the universe from nothing (Genesis 1-2). He created you and me from dust (Genesis 1-2). His Son defeated death (Luke 24:1-12). To me, that is Power. The power God has doesn’t require a grunt or a meeting with the cabinet in order for his power to be demonstrated. His power is ultimate and it’s living in anyone who believes in Him.

In Acts chapter 1 verse 8, Christ says right before he ascends into heaven that “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you (emphasis mine). What does this mean? Well, when we come to realize the impact of the Gospel and we trust in who God is, and we put all our trust in Him; we ask Christ for forgiveness. I believe in that moment, the Holy Spirit and His power is living inside you. That means the power it took for Christ to defeat death, is living inside of you. 

So how do you live with this Holy Spirit Power?

It’s definitely not like Superman, so don’t think you will be seeing into buildings with X-Ray vision. You won’t be like Spiderman either and climbing up the side of walls. But you will have the power to make it through whatever comes your way.

As believers and followers of Christ, life still happens. The good and the bad of life still exist. Through the power we have in Christ, we are able to stand victorious with Him on both the good and bad days. If you’re anything like me, then being reminded of this power that is living inside is extremely humbling and encouraging. It’s humbling because I’m reminded how big God is. I’m reminded how powerful He is to create and hold the universe together, to care about the hairs on my head, to love me enough to die for me, and to defeat death. And it’s encouraging because the Holy Spirit is giving me the Power to make it through even when I feel like I’m at my weakest point. That Power is not needing to grunt to lift what I feel like is the heaviest weight.

Power “the ability or right to control people or things” can only happen through the Lord. When we let God have the power over our lives, thats’s when Power provides the most beautiful Peace offered by God, which allows us to be Patient in an impatient world in order to Persevere to the end.

A Tetelestai Life

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 18:30

Over the past few months, my world has completely changed. Now for most people, change can be completely terrifying (I would be lying to say I wasn’t terrified); but because of the LOVE I have found in Jesus Christ and the LOVE he has for me–I am not afraid. The peace that surpasses all understanding has been so graciously given, so there is nothing left to fear in the midst of all the change.

What exactly changed?

Everything–that’s the easiest answer; from where I live to the things I’m involved in to the people I hang out with. Literally everything has changed, BUT God. He has stayed the same (Malachi 3:6).

The thing that I’m figuring out each day is that when I start to see God for everything He is, things may change in my life (like the things above), but the changes are supposed to change me. Do you see the change of perspective I’ve had? Initially, I had this mindset that is a little selfish. The changes that were happening to me effected my schedule, my social life, my church life, etc. However, the more I press into God and see who He is, I’m beginning to realize I need these changes to really become more like the Christ and less about my schedule, my social life, and even my church life.

In essence, God is teaching me to be still. I’ve lived my whole life trying be the best. I want to be the best at serving God. I want to be the best teacher. I want to be the best Small Group Leader. I want to be the best at everything. Not that those things are bad, but I was beginning to make those things my identity. I felt like I had to DO things to be right with the God.

BUT, that’s not the GOSPEL.

What is the GOSPEL?

The GOSPEL is simply recognizing that God created us. We failed at doing things He asked and could never do anything to be right with Him. Then, He sent His Son to do life perfectly only to die for everyone, so the people who believe in Him could have eternal life with God.

I’ve been a believer now for many years and have spent my whole life in a church, but some where along the way I started to believe a lie. I believed that I needed to DO things in order to gain love and acceptance from God. Through all these changes in my life, I’m only beginning to understand that everything is done. There’s nothing left to do. Christ did it all.

John 18:30 is listed above, and it’s become one of the most powerful verses right now in my life. Christ literally says, “It is finished.” In the Ancient Greek it’s translated as Tetelestai or τετελεσται.

When I think about the word finish, one of the first synonyms that pop into my mind is done. Often times, done or finish is used when the action (or the doing) is completed. For example, when you bake cookies, the oven is doing (or baking) the cookies and when the timer goes off, you know the cookies are done or finished. In the same way, Christ lived this perfect, sinless life and died on the cross for our sins. Just like the timer went off for us to know the cookies were “done” baking; the timer went off for us to know Christ has “done” or “finished” the work we were never capable of doing on our own to gain that love and acceptance from God.

It’s DONE! Everything is finished. I’m telling myself everyday to STOP doing and just BE. Be still and know that He is good (Psalm 46:10).

So in the midst of all this change that’s happening, my perspective has changed. I’ve started to see that I don’t have to do anything because Christ has already been the best small group leader, the best teacher, and literally the best at everything else. He’s already lived the perfect life for me, so I don’t have to do it, BUT I can live “An It is FinishedLife” or “A Tetelestai Life”