Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Get Godly Character

Do you ever look at your life and wonder, When will the drama end? 

I do. And I am inclined to get exasperated and stressed out about dealing with one trial after another. However, instead of flipping out, it is good to remind ourselves that without these trials, God could not develop in us his godly character.

Today I woke up with horrible knee pain. This after several days of migraine and computer problems and working out some relationship issues and missing my son who is staying with my parents. So when the knee went bonkers, my first thought, of course, was, "Seriously?! What's next?!"

But God tells us that we shouldn't be surprised when trials come:

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." I Peter 4:12-13

In fact, the trials and sufferings are the vehicle by which he transports his character into us:

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Romans 5:3-4

So, as the trials become more frequent and intense, I am learning to consciously stop flipping out, long enough to ask myself, "What part of my character could I claim right now?"

Sometimes it's peace in a fearful situation.

Sometimes it's supernatural joy in the midst of pain.

Sometimes, it's loving someone else in their foolishness.

Sometimes it's trusting God to care for my child when I can't be there.

These are all difficult things to do on my own, but without the trials, how would I ever learn to depend on God? How would our character develop if our lives were always happy, smooth, and trial-less?

When you look at it that way, it's ultimately a huge privilege when God allows trials in our lives. We don't welcome the pain or the torment that Satan offers, but we do welcome the peace, joy, love, and trust that God is holding out to us with loving arms. We know that we are being made like Jesus, and that is what's best for all those around us, too.


Rebecca said...

Thank you for this. I needed to hear this today. I've been having a rough few months (though admittedly never as tough as what you go through every day) and I've been feeling sorry for myself. I needed to hear and be reminded that God is allowing all this dumb trials for a reason and not to just trip me up. Thank you, Kati, for being a model of following after Jesus.

Kati Potratz said...

It's a trap to fall into thinking that God gives us trials to trip us up! So glad you were encouraged.