At some point in our lives, we all come to know a sense of lack. Some people grew up in homes where there was never enough food or money to go around. The sense of lack was significant. For others there was a lack of love or acceptance – no one ever seemed to care for them. As we grow older, we might sense a lack in our skills, abilities or opportunities to accomplish the dreams that we had. There are few people who have not experienced a sense of lack in either their personal or professional life. That sense that ‘something we need’ is missing.
As Christians, we can also have a sense of lack from time to time. I speak with many people who want to be ‘good’ Christians but just don’t feel like they can do it. They suffer from a sense of lack; a feeling that they haven’t got all they need to live out their calling. They feel like they don’t have the right understanding or insight, they don’t have the right environment, or they can’t seem to overcome sin. Living out our Christian faith is challenging, and I do know how a sense of lack can handicap us.
But Peter tells us that we don’t really lack anything. My favorite Bible verse is 2 Peter 1:3: “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.”(NTL)
Peter clearly says that God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We tend to think that we are missing something. We tend to hope that someday we can find that missing ingredient and finally live a godly life. However, we don’t have to wait; we have everything we need now.
This is an amazing revelation. When we come into a relationship with Jesus, we receive everything we need to be his followers. Nothing is lacking. However, we are usually unaware of all the riches that we have received. What have we received? Here’s a short list: grace, love, joy, the Holy Spirit, forgiveness of sin, acceptance, hope, spiritual gifts, relationship with the Father, the fellowship of other believers, insight into the Scriptures, and the power of prayer.
We have all these things and more, but we can easily forget. Rather than living with a sense of lack, we need to list the blessings and benefits of our relationship with Jesus. We need to do a full inventory of what Jesus has given us. Take some time to meditate on that verse, the sense of lack will disappear.