Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Through Perseverance, Character

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:1-5)
Have you ever been in a situation of suffering when you finally - finally - ask for God's help? And when you do it, you wonder why you didn't ask earlier? I've been in that situation, and I think it is a lack of faith - not a lack of faith in God's ability, but a lack of faith that doesn't bring God to mind sooner. It's an attitude of not listening - not hearing God in the situation soon enough to listen earlier.

So what happens when we find God in suffering, and then recognize that our endurance is a gift from God? Our faith is strengthened. Our character is changed. We are recreated. We gain strength, and that strength is a gift of faith. Our faith is deepened and strengthened, and from that faith, a stronger character - a stronger nature - is born.

When we have witnessed God's action in our lives, we are more willing to believe, to listen, to hear and to obey. We are better people than we were before.

And that is good news, too.

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