Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can have godly character. What is godly character? God has many attributes and some are communicable to us through Jesus and some belong solely to God. For example, only God is incomprehensible, the creator, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent or sovereign. However, those characteristics of God that He wants us to possess are vast and wonderful. He desires that we are like Him in having peace, joy, being forgiving, thankful, honest, friendly, generous, loving and humble to name just a few. As we grow in our relationship with Jesus, the Holy Spirit transforms us in a process called sanctification as we are made more and more like Jesus.
Why does God want to do this for us? Scripture is clear there are great benefits to this character transformation. Romans 5:2-4 “Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Wow! Through faith in Jesus we stand in grace, rejoice in hope and our suffering produces godly character in us! James 1:2-4 also speaks of the trials of life bringing about change in our character for good. “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Life’s trials test our faith and produce character that is steadfast and leads to perfection in Christ. It is the trials in our life that God uses to hone and shape our character to make us more and more like Jesus as we learn to depend upon Him and place our Hope in Him.
May you find joy in your trials and suffering as God works on your character, a character that will bring you hope!
Suggestion: Determine to take a different view of the hard things you face today. Seek to see them as character building. Praise God for the ability to cling to Him with a thankful, joyful and hopeful heart!