Character Refinement

When things are going well, it's easy to do the right thing, no need to call on courage, everything is seemingly as it should be. Someone cruising through life with no problems or difficulty, may not feel the need to lean on God, figures everything is under control. But, lack of challenge or difficulty can cause a person to become complacent and weak.

Faith wouldn’t be needed if everything always went well, there would be no need to reach out to God for help. Without difficulty, we would never develop mountain moving faith, would not even know faith is deficient. It is when things go wrong that causes us to seek divine assistance, realizing we cannot control our surrounding

Difficult situations are a benefit, teaching the necessity of recognizing God as a leading partner in life. The practice of trusting God builds faith within, which is the substance of miracles, blessings, and salvation. It is during difficult times that our character is tested and refined, revealing who we truly are, highlighting our strengths and weaknesses.

If we choose to do what's right even when short term pain is inevitable, then we pass the test. But, if we buckle, willing to use lies or deceitfulness to avoid short term discomfort, then we fail the character test. Displaying a lack of honor or courage when under duress, reveals faith is deficient. Hopefully after succumbing to dishonor, conviction of the Holy Spirit is heeded, leading to repentance and a genuine intention to do better next time.

We all make mistakes through the trek of life, the key is to become aware of each misstep and learn, otherwise would be trapped in an endless loop of poor judgment. Our conscience is a natural guide, similar to a compass, as we seek the ways of God. The Holy Spirit will give heartfelt peace if the correct course is selected, but otherwise there will be an uneasiness or dread, then a course correction is needed.

As a person learns to integrate God’s values and grow closer to the Lord, good choices become natural in difficult situations, regardless of short term consequences, the result of character refinement. When walking with God, things always work out good in long-term, a result of unwavering faith. The goal is no longer how to avoid trouble or acquire selfish gain, but rather, “What would Jesus do?”

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.”

Eph 4:21-24 NLT

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