It is through the situations of life that our lives and our character is refined by God. He is the one who began our lives, the one who shapes our lives and the one who is life is about. Yet it is through fire, the hot ones and the not so hot ones, that God molds our lives.
You may have been through situations much worse than I’ve been through, but in any situation, God is at work. His desire is for us to be stronger and to be more and more life Jesus, His son. Real strength is not about muscles and how much a person can bench press. Strength is in the character, integrity and fortitude that has been built into our lives.
In the past few months how has God been working in your life? There are specific points where you can see that God is working. I have seen that in my life. There are other places where the hand of God is subtle but working. Think about where God is working in your character.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. 6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Problems produce insight. Often when things in life get tough we turn away from God or at least from the understanding that God is working in our lives. It will change how we look at situations and the people around us when we acknowledge that God is working.
Acknowledging God produces several things in our lives according these verses:
Endurance is about getting through. Some people just want to get through life and be safe. Others want to build a list of experiences that are more of an adventure. Others wish to make a difference by living life to it’s fullest. God wants to use all our lives, and letting God work helps us get through even more.
This is inner strength. This is what allows you to say nothing when things are thrown your way that often lead to being judged or having to defend ourselves. Real strength is when we allow the Spirit of God to speak through us and to help us through the hardest of life’s happenings.
Finally this is the characteristic that allows us to come to the end of ourselves, allows us to see that we are in need of help and at every point God is the one we need. There is no place too low. There is no situation too grim or dark. God is working, and we have hope.
My prayer is that my life will exude characteristics that are rightly placed by God Himself. May the same be true of you as well.