2019-07-31 That Builds Character, Young Man!

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:1

I find it fascinating how I can let the bible basically plop open and find something that will completely amaze me and keep me occupied for hours, if not days. This verse, today, is a perfect example of that.

Peace.

This is something that the world has never been able to achieve, this side of Eden. Wars are fought in the name of peace, for crying out loud. I’m not saying that we should have never been in a war (or be in another war), I’m just saying that peace on earth won’t be found by mankind alone. Sure, there will be times of peace here and there, but even today there are numerous “armed conflicts” around the world. According to Wikipedia:

4      Major Wars                           10,000+ deaths in current or past year
6      Wars                                       1,000-9,999 deaths
24    Minor Conflicts                    100-999 deaths
16    Skirmishes and clashes      Fewer than 100 deaths

Did you know that?

Here’s the deal. The entire earth, every single person, is in rebellion. Yup. Now, we might get disagreement with that statement; but according to the only one who has made the heavens and earth, we are. We are in rebellion against our creator. Sure, we may think we have peace, at times, with our fellow humans, but we don’t have peace with God until we have faith in Jesus Christ. And once we have peace with Him, nothing else really matters. Why? Because our true home is not here; it is with him. One day we shall see Jesus face-to-face. In the meantime, we have this promise:

Romans 5:2-5 Through him we also have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, 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.

Where we are going will be beyond comprehension. That is a fact we will soon enjoy. Yet, no matter how bad things get on earth, those who are saved have something that no one else has – peace with God. Peace is always in our hearts because the Holy Spirit lives inside of us. Not only that, but we rejoice when things are tough. Wrap your head around that, will ya?

Seriously. We all know this is true, but we find it hard to rejoice in all circumstances. I don’t know about you, but I think I get my world between me and God a little too often. Look, we can muddle through tough times or we can cooperate with God and let him make us into creatures that rejoice in our sufferings. Right?

So, I’ve got some weight to lose. It’s been a battle. Maybe I’ve been looking at this all wrong. I’ve been suffering, alright, but have I been suffering so that it produces endurance? No. It’s been a battle that I dread to engage. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to do it on my own, ultimately, for my own vain glory. I’m destined to fail in that. God won’t allow me to succeed for my own ego.

On the other hand, if I’m doing it for him, for his glory, maybe I’ll be able to rejoice in my suffering and enjoy endurance, character, and hope. There is something about the thought of all this producing character that is appealing to me. God is building character in me. I need to look at it that way rather than whining about how hard it is to eat healthily and exercise.

Father, I’m putting my trust in you on this! Amen.

Copyright © 2019 Scott Powers

Photo by Hari Nandakumar on Unsplash

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