THERE IS NO SHORTCUT TO CHARACTER, NO DETOUR AROUND DIFFICULTY.
I just read the above statement in my Bible commentary. But doesn’t our world live like this? Don’t people just think they are a “good person” and ignore GOD? Don’t people find ways around difficulty or try to escape with drugs or alcohol?
If you have been on your knees face to face with GOD you soon realize how helpless you are and how Sovereign HE is! Generations after us are finding shortcuts to just about everything they do, but when you are in the thick with the LORD, HE works on your character in a slow and persistent way. HE shows you there is NO shortcut and NO detour.
The road of life can be long, it can be difficult and it can also be wonderful. Do you realize your present life path is shaping your future character for Heaven’s glory? If you let HIM, GOD will shape your character into something HE desires. GOD sees our potential even when we don’t!
I’d like to say there is a shortcut to GODLY character, but there is not. It is a slow painstaking process. You see, the difficulties you are currently experiencing are shaping your character. If you’re like me, I don’t like going thru difficulties at all and I don’t like seeing anyone dealing with them either. I want everything to be as smooth as butter, but life isn’t like that. I would like everyone to live happy ever after too. I want to live in a world with no sickness or strife or heartache……..but I know that is what Heaven will be like, right?
IF OUR GOOD AND PURE CHARACTER COULD HAPPEN OVERNIGHT, WOULD WE REALLY HAVE A NEED FOR GOD?
Since we all are works in progress, we must realize that our lives are a marathon in character development, not a sprint. But the only way our character can be formed and refined is thru difficulty. GOD sends those difficulties our way and they are tailor made just for us:
1 PETER 5:10 “BUT MAY THE GOD OF ALL GRACE, WHO CALLED US TO HIS ETERNAL GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS, AFTER YOU HAVE SUFFERED A WHILE, PERFECT, ESTABLISH, STRENGTHEN, AND SETTLE YOU.”
I like the use of the word settle in the above verse……..Webster’s dictionary says that to settle means to establish or secure permanently. I want to be secure in the LORD……..I want to be in HIS arms permanently don’t you? I have learned that when I am in the midst of difficulties, that GOD’S hand is upon me and I settle freely into HIS capable arms, trusting HIM instead of trusting the world.
LET US COME BEFORE HIM UNASHAMED AND UNAFRAID.
Let us look at our difficulties as gifts, not punishment from GOD! They are lessons to help us refine and perfect our characters, as much as we try to detour around those difficulties…….only GOD can take our hand and guide us through. With GOD as our guide, we need to hang on tight because we can be in for a wild ride…….
THE LOVE OF THE LORD WILL NEVER LET US GO.
If the LORD is the love of your life, don’t you want to be more like HIM? The character of HIS SON, JESUS, is our perfect example of how to number our days through the trials set before us. Remember the acronym WWJD? What would JESUS do? This should still ring true for us today. Let us always look to our Savior as our authentic example of how to live out each day as forgiven and loved by the GOD of the universe!
Let us never forget that GOD is more concerned with our character than our comfort. Let that idea lovingly settle over you today!
MALACHI 3:2 “FOR HE IS LIKE A REFINER’S FIRE.”