Over the last few years, God has been transforming the way I see testing, trials, challenges, and afflictions…
There is something about the way that He can make good use of these things…
to build endurance,
and to build character within us.
He can take something
that was intended for our harm and destruction…
and redeem it, flip it around,
and use it to propel us…
It always amazes me how He does that.
But that’s His heart!
“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to keep many people alive.”—Genesis 50:20
This morning as I opened my bible and sat down,
I noticed a highlighted study note that caught my eye,
“The neck expresses the body language of character.” (Referring to SOS 4:4)
“Your neck is like the tower of David, Built for an armory, On which hang a thousand bucklers, All shields of mighty men.”—Song of Solomon 4:4
I love the way the scriptures can teach us something much deeper by using metaphors…
…I also find it interesting that the word “armory” can mean,
“an array of resources available for a particular purpose.”
And this morning,
I am reminded of,
and so thankful for this:
God builds our character
so that He can TRUST US
and so that we will be able to STAND FIRM
as we learn to die to our flesh.
That we’ll not crumble and fall,
as we take up the Armor of God when the enemy comes,
with his attempts to tear us down.
“The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.”—Proverbs 11:3
“And endurance produces character, and character produces hope...”—Romans 5:4
“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.“—Proverbs 10:9
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”—Galatians 5:16-17
“In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.“—1 Peter 1:6-7
“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.“—Colossians 1:10
if you’re facing something hard,
(or, the next time you find yourself facing something hard)
—whether it be something that has surfaced within your own heart,
or a hard situation that you face in this life…
that God wants to make good use of it
to develop your character
because He wants to
and because He desires to be able to trust you.
He has good plans in store for your life,
and He wants to see you through!
So let Him do the work
that He needs to do in you.
“Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”—James 1:4
We don’t know
what we need
for what’s ahead…
…but He does. ☀️
He’s a good God. 💝
So Father, thank You, thank You, THANK YOU…
for allowing what is necessary (and perhaps even critical)
to build character within us—within Your church.
You know what we need
in order to stand,
and to withstand
the attempts of the enemy,
and as we face our own flesh.
And so You prepare us…
You take us through a process
that sometimes includes pain, and mistakes, and brokenness…
But if we look at it all from Your perspective,
we can see
it’s an opportunity…
that You might
like a strong military fortress… 🏰
and that You might grow us…
…like a tree that is firmly planted by streams of water. 🏝
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”—Jeremiah 17:7-8
“And he will be like a tree firmly planted [and fed] by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season; Its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers [and comes to maturity].”—Psalm 1:3
The Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18)
10 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Thank You, Father. 💝