“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV).
It’s interesting how God uses the challenges of life to work in our lives and to develop of Christ-like character.
Some of the best advice I’ve ever received is: “Don’t waste your problem.” Make sure you use whatever is happening in your life as learning and growing opportunities. Allow the situation to deepen your faith in God. Allow it to cause you to trust Him in ways you never have. Let the thing you are facing right now be a catalyst for developing Godly character.
I want you to consider this question: what do you still need to learn? What areas do I still need to grow? God will provide opportunities. Patience? Self-control? To be more loving? To be less reactionary? To learn to wait on God?
Why haven’t I moved to the next level? You may be where God wants you to go, because you have not sufficiently learned the necessary lessons.
- Noah – 100 years to build the ark
- Abraham – 25 years until his son was born
- Joseph – 13 years as a slave and a prisoner
- Moses - 40 years
- David wait 20 years until he was king over all of Israel
- Paul – 3 years in Arabia
- Even Jesus waited 30 years before it was time to begin his earthly ministry
Just because you aren’t there yet, doesn’t mean God has forgotten you, forsaken you, or given up on you. It’s quite possible that you are in still in the School of Character. He may not let us move forward until we learn certain lessons.
Character is developed in times of testing.
How do we learn character? Character is never built in a classroom. Character is built in the circumstances of life. God builds character in our lives by allowing us to experience situations where we are tempted to do the exact opposite of the character quality. Character development always involves a choice. When we make the right choice, our character grows more like Christ.
Christ-like character is the goal of the Christian life. To settle for anything less is to miss the point of spiritual growth. We are to “become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13 NIV).
Today’s Challenge: Consider what opportunity has God brought into your life to help you develop Christ-like character?
- What have you learned from recent problems or difficulties?
- How have you grown in Christ-like character through the things you have gone through?
- Where in your character do you still need to grow?
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