Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Character development in hard times.

In Romans 5:3-5 Paul outlines the reason that we can rejoice when we go through hard times, those crucible like experiences. He does this through a list of traits that each build on the previous. Looking at the list backwards, we know that what is most desired when in a hard time is hope. Paul understands that hope is produced in the life of someone whose character has been developed and proven.  And what produces that kind of character? Paul reminds us that our character is developed as we endure hard times. But exactly  what is character? Or more importantly what does Paul mean by character? In 1 Peter 1:7 Peter describes the various trials we go through as the proving ground for our faith. He writes that the "proven genuineness" of our faith comes from being "tested by fire." The Greek words for "proven genuineness," "tested by fire," and "character" all have the same root which means "to be tried as metals by fire and thus purified." No wonder Paul writes that our character produces hope--character is not just the way someone thinks, feels and behaves--it is a life that is proven genuine by the hard times we experience.  As one goes through those hard times and sees how the Lord continues to time and again sustain and transform, our hope soars and we rejoice!

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