Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Our Character Is Shaped By The Inconvenient

Photo by DonnaGrayson
Life Can Be Problem-Filled

Let's face reality. Life here on earth can be really awesome at times, but there can also be a lot of inconveniences.  This is probably an understatement. Our spouse is behaving badly. Our children are having mental-emotional problems. Work is stressing us out because the economy is in the tank and we can't hire additional employees to help with the work load. We have a mountain of debt we're trying to pay off and there seems to be no end in sight.

Whatever personal, family, or work-related problems we may be facing right now can certainly be stressful and overwhelming. When people encounter these small inconveniences all the way up to major life difficulties, they react in a variety of ways. Some may hit the bottle. Some may curl up in the fetal position. Some run into the arms of another person. And some may even choose to take a more mature approach.

Using Problems As An Avenue For Growth

I have a better idea. What if we used these life problems as an avenue to grow in our lives? We can stop, assess the situation, and choose a mature path that leads to solutions. Instead of reacting in an immature manner, we can admit we have challenges and work through them by growing as believers in Christ.

God is interested in our character. That's why He allows us to go through difficulties in the first place. He's letting various problems into our lives to find out how we're going to respond. Is Larry going to walk by faith and trust Me, or is he going to live in the flesh and make a total fool out of himself? Is he going to get in the Word and on His knees, or is he going to drown his sorrows through the ways of the world?

In James 1:2-8, 12, we read these words:
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. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do...Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
What Will Be Your Response?

So Christian, when you come under inconvenient, difficult circumstances, what will be your response? Are you going to respond like the world responds? Are you going to whine, moan, and complain and attempt to distract yourself through other means? Or, are you going to embrace your problem and thank God for allowing these inconveniences to grow you in your walk with Christ?

Just because something is overwhelmingly difficult, doesn't mean that we should just throw in the towel, admit surrender, and give up. Ask God to help you. Seek professional help. Do whatever it's going to take to grow and mature in Christ. Allow your character to be shaped by the inconvenient problems of this world. In this way, you will have zero regrets in this life and the life to come.

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