“…but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 ESV
Wouldn’t life be great if all we had to do is swallow a pill that would give us the character we desire? No effort required. No work involved. No experience of failure. No frustration to manage. Just immediate, character gratification.
We marvel at the highly discipline athlete. We celebrate the person who sacrifices immediate gratification for long term success. In many cases, we wish we had the same fortitude. Yet, the fact is we all have the opportunity to forgo the temporary pleasure for long term character growth.
The reality is also true; godly character takes time and pain to build. Through suffering we lean more on God. As we hang onto Christ, character is being produced. As we witness the character being produced, our hope in Christ becomes real.
Yes, God is reproducing himself in you. He has adopted you and gave you his personal DNA via the Holy Spirit. As we abide in Christ and rest in him, he works from the inside-out to mold and shape us into his model child. Through the circumstances we find ourselves in, through the people we associate with, and through the challenges & opportunities we face each day, God’s Spirit works to mold and shape the new you.
Some denominations identify a saint as someone who is unique and climbed the ladder of spiritual success. Yet the Bible calls everyone who is a believer a saint. In fact, the Bible calls us all saints in the plural and never in a singular fashion. For the saints of the Bible is another identification for the Body of Christ, the Church.
So maybe it is time that the Church, His saints, set aside immediate gratification and take seriously His objective to prepare His adopted children for more than physical comforts in this life. Maybe for some of us it’s time to get serious with allowing God to complete His work in us.
Rooting For You in Christ!
Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married
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