Character. It is a critical aspect of each individual. Character is the substance of an individual. We live in a world which encourages us to indulge ourselves and never give a thought to our inner character. It is a tempting encouragement. Pleasing ‘self’ seems like a good idea. Unfortunately, though, character is never grown in a soil of pleasure. Character is not found in a church pew or a book. Character is built through sacrifice and hard choices. It has been said that life is God’s gift to man; what man does with that life is his gift to God.
God’s Word tells us that character is developed through perseverance. As we trace the source of perseverance, our hearts will tremble—for the source of perseverance is suffering. For the Christian, suffering can be a source of joy BECAUSE the hope of God is a certainty that sustains. The hope of God produces eternal blessing that outweighs and outlasts every heart ache. A character rooted in God’s grace and built on faith in Christ will produce blessing all around!
“It’s always too soon to quit.” Daniel Baker
Perseverance–pressing on, not quitting–is a trait we must develop! Our perseverance is not solely fixed on our purposes, though. In fact, focusing our perseverance on our goals (purposes) can discourage us. Things don’t always turn out the way we plan; Scripture is full of such stories.
But God’s purposes are never in jeopardy. The purposes and goals we set are a tool God uses as we travel through this life. BUT glory to God, His purposes are woven into the journey itself…and His purposes are grander than ours!
God is busy with things we can not even imagine. Success is trusting Him in the midst of life; the goal is enjoying His presence. Our goals are far too small. Let’s take and apply the words of William Carey, “Expect great things–attempt great things.”
We are to set goals that are good and in line with the purposes of God–and then leave the results in the hands of God. The only way to do that is continually pressing in to see His face, feel His love and being filled with confidence in His plans.
Struggles teach perseverance, perseverance is entwined with character and hope–certainty of God–springs forth. That is the only worthwhile success.
But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
Persistently seeking the Lord will transform us into His image. I love the old saying of “Praise God I am not what I was and I am not what I will become!” Just as God’s changeless nature is a rock-solid foundation, so our transformation is a glorious promise.