Have you ever noticed that when you want to grow in patience, God sends the most annoying person to sit next to you at work… you know the type the guy /girl who talks when you’re trying to concentrate, who keeps asking you the same question over and over and over again, who tells jokes that just aren’t funny and laugh’s hysterically at his/her own jokes … You’ve probably got someone in mind already, if you don’t it’s probably YOU.
In The Bible in Romans Paul talks about the things that we endure helps “develop strength of character“.
So not hitting that annoying person sitting next to you, even though you want to knock them into yesteryear… is making you a better person (it doesn’t necessarily make you a good person!).
So not saying something really smart or sarcastic back is giving you strength of character.
We all want to be better people (well most of us anyway) but God actually allows trials and problems to come into our lives… why? Because often the best way to become smooth his to be roughed up.
God never promised an easy ride, in fact only one of the disciples died of natural causes, they rest died for their faith… how does that prove or show character… well Paul goes on to say “character strengthens our confident expectation of Salvation” … I think this is part of what people mean when you ask them about knowing God… often they will say “I just KNOW!!” … God has become so much a part of themselves through the hard times as God slowly strips away each layer of unneeded junk in our lives that it begins to reveal us as God intended. They expect to be saved, because they have already put their faith fully in Christ.
Paul finishes with “and this expectation, will NOT disappoint us” … I love that… we’re not going through all this for nothing because the prize at the end is guaranteed NOT to disappoint. This is a race, there will be trials… but when we know ourselves in Christ, we come to understand that these are only a way to make us better, stronger and Christ focused.
Let me make this clear – self improvement will NOT get you to Heaven… being a good person will NOT get you to Heaven… but being the person that God intended us to be means that God is able to reveal himself to us in a real and exciting way (but we’ll talk about that in other blogs)
(If you want to look at this further look into Roman’s 5:3-4)