The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of May 4, 2015
Character Through Perseverance
Romans 5:3-8, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. 6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die--8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Beloved- it is a privilege to share with you this day. I do not take lightly the opportunity to share God’s Word with you. I stand not on my own ability but on His. This week’s devotion is focused on, “Character Through Perseverance.” It is of upmost importance, that our lives are lives of character.
What I have learned as a Pastor is that the Lord produces character through suffering and perseverance. These are characteristics that every believer should possess. I have chosen Romans 5:3-8 as my text. We will quickly explore three facets the Lord utilizes to work in us and through us. He hones us. He gives us hope. And He offers us His love through humility. A thesis statement might read: “The Lord produces in us character through perseverance as He hones us for the work of the ministry seeding our lives with hope and humility with love.”
Beloved, firstly the Lord desires to hone us. To hone is to refine or perfect (something) over a period of time. Honing is an abrasive machining process that produces a precision surface on a metal work piece by scrubbing an abrasive stone against it along a controlled path. So how does the Lord hone us? He hones us through suffering, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Beloved, the sufferings that we endure are for good for us to become more Christ-like.
But thankfully the Lord does not leave us there because He also gives us hope. Beloved, We hope because we know that our suffering is not in vain! ROMANS 5:4-5 says it this way, “And endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Finally, character through perseverance is produced through humility. Beloved, anything that we have ever accomplished is because of God’s grace. Paul describes us with four words in Romans 5: “weak” (v. 6), “ungodly” (v. 6), “sinners” (v. 8), and “enemies” (v. 10). In so doing he tells us that God’s love was totally unmotivated by anything in us. Beloved, we could all use a heavy dose of humility! If we are anything it is because of Christ. He holds it all together!
But you may ask, “why all the suffering and humility?” Why, because the Lord needs to develop our character through our perseverance. He desires that we become more and more like Jesus and this can only be accomplished as the Lord removes the dross from our lives. Is it painful? Yes! But the results are beautiful!
Beloved, if you are in the midst of pain and suffering take hope. God is doing a beautiful work inside of you! Do not lose you hope but rather “Rejoice in your sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character.”
Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week. I love you and I will be praying for you!
In His love-