As much as we don’t like to admit it, God develops our character mostly during those tough times. We know that … and yet, when the going gets tough, all too often we want to use that as an excuse to … well, you know … behave badly. Why is that?
It’s a real dilemma, isn’t it? On the one hand, if we cooperate with God during those tough times – seek Him out, draw close to Him, listen to Him – He will, without doubt, make us stronger and wiser. He will, without doubt, help us to become who we were always meant to be – someone made in His image.
But on the other hand, when life is tough … well, it’s hard. We’re tempted to lash out. We’re tempted to lose hope. We’re tempted full stop. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak, amen?
The Apostle Peter was writing to Christians who were undergoing intense persecution, but instead of mollycoddling them he lays things right on the line:
2 Peter 1:5-8 Because you have these blessings, do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge; to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Listen up. You and I are blessed beyond measure in Christ. And the more we get to know Him, the more that blessing is meant to be the foundation of a character – built layer upon layer on that Rock – to reflect His nature to those around us.
Your character matters to God.
That’s His Word. Fresh … for you … today.