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Posts Tagged ‘1 Chronicles 29:17’

Hardship

Hardship (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Monday our starting point was Acts 14:22: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” Not exactly an encouraging affirmation, is it!

But we discovered that problems can actually be opportunities—opportunities to improve our perspective, foster appreciation, and draw us closer to God.

Another benefit? Problems build character.

And why is that a valuable endeavor? Wise King Solomon answered that question eons ago: “I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity” (1 Chronicles 29:17).  That means,  when I face problems with integrity, I bring pleasure to my Heavenly Father.  Now that’s a goal worth pursuing.

integrity

integrity (Photo credit: glsims99)

Integrity is firm adherence to a code or standard of values. The one and only true standard is God’s standard, laid out in his Word.  Integrity includes righteousness, courage, perseverance, and faith–character traits that don’t develop without pressure.

The key is to live within the spiritual realm with him. Then the physical realm becomes less important. It’s as if we exist in an alternative reality. No wallowing in self-pity. No rehashing the negative aspects of the situation. No time wasted considering the “what-ifs.”

Instead we “count it all joy when we meet various trials” (James 1:2). How?

1. Practice his presence by speaking to him throughout the day.   Keep rehearsing God’s attributes. Remember all his benefits. Think of the blessings he has already provided.

2. Acknowledge those little demons of worry, shame, or inadequacy. Call them by name and present them before God. Notice how they cower as God proclaims his everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). Watch them retreat as he affirms his infinite power (Jeremiah 32:27).

3. Anticipate what God might accomplish through these difficult circumstances. Wonderful possibilities exist as he sends us in new directions and uses us to minister to others.

No doubt there are more steps we can take. But these offer a good start. And what will be the result? Difficulties develop perseverance, and perseverance produces maturity—the one positive character trait that covers them all (James 1:2).

Heavenly Father, you know even better than I how easy it is to verbally affirm these truths; it’s another to live by them moment by moment. I still have much to learn about counting it all joy in the midst of trials. But I do aspire to be a mature person, able to say, “It is well with my soul.”   No.   Matter.   What.   Thank you for continuing to work on me, for never giving up.

IT IS WELL

IT IS WELL (Photo credit: Amydeanne)

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