Footsteps in Faith: Perseverance continues to be key in shaping, developing Christlike characteristics

| February 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Capt.) Jimmy Major
307th Integrated Theater Signal Battalion

Every four years, we get to enjoy the Winter Olympics. This year’s competition in Vancouver, Canada, is no different, as it’s sure to bring both excitement and a blizzard of questions over the next few weeks.

Who will go for the gold? How many medals will the U.S. walk away with? Who will be the hometown hero?
Watching the Olympics is fun because you get to focus on athletes from all over the world, performing at their best. For these athletes, participating in the Olympics is like competing in their own Super Bowl because it takes years to get to the Olympic level.

MajorWhen I think of these competitors, I think of all the perseverance they needed to qualify for the Games. The long days of practice certainly didn’t break these athletes.

Romans 5:1-2 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. 

The passage continues in verses 3-5, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

Perseverance, it appears, is the key to producing character.

Character is defined as the pattern of behavior or personality found in an individual or group, or moral constitution. Crisis doesn’t necessarily make character, but it does reveal it.

Adversity in our lives is a crossroads where a person chooses one path: character or compromise.
Jesus was the ultimate example of character. Every time we choose character, we grow more into the image of Christ.

Character is who you are when no one is looking. Character development is similar to the formation of a pearl within the shell of an oyster. The pearl is formed over a period of time as layers build up around some particle of sand or other irritant that has made its way into the oyster’s shell.

The oyster secretes a liquid called “Mother of Pearl” in order to protect itself from irritation. This liquid hardens and forms a smooth surface around the offending grain of sand or irritant. The layers created eventually produce a natural gem.

When irritating situations arise in our lives, the Lord wants to release His anointing as a protection against the plans of the enemy. The Lord takes that which was once an irritating situation, releases his anointing in it, turns it into something that works for our good, and causes something beautiful to happen on the inside of us.

God allows times of suffering and trial to cause change to take place within our lives. He knows exactly what’s going on and the enemy can only go as far as the Lord will allow him to go.

For example, a loving father took his daughter to a carnival, and she immediately ran over to a booth and asked for cotton candy. As the attendant handed her a huge ball of it, the father asked, “Are you sure you can eat all of that?”

“Don’t worry, Dad,” she answered, “I’m a lot bigger on the inside than on the outside.”

That’s what real character is, being bigger on the inside.

Character is defined by what you do, not by what you say or believe. Every choice that you make in this life reveals the kind of person you really are on the inside.

Doing the right thing, even if it costs you everything, shows Christian character within.

Everything that we do in this life makes an impact on someone or something. We need to understand that we have the power within us to make our lives count for something other than selfish gain or selfish motives.

Christian character is not something that’s painted on the outside. Rather, it’s something that is formed and nourished from deep within.

Category: Footsteps in Faith, News

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