Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 15, 2015
We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5
Crisis revels my character. A crisis can build my character. I have not always responded well to crisis. There was a season I felt paralyzed by my financial issues. Fear kept me from seeing the creative options Christ had for me. I had a mid-life crisis when my dad died and my heart sank into a depression. I struggled with self-pity and grief in his absence. More recently, a health crisis caused me to angrily obsess over the worst case scenario. I lost my perspective of the hope I have in the Lord. God doesn’t waste a crisis, nor does He want me to waste one either.
Paul, a fellow sufferer for his savior Jesus—gives us reason to persevere through our season of suffering. Adversity is meant to advance our faith and for us to fulfill God’s will. Our hope is in Christ. The overflow of His love is poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Our heavenly Father gives us the hope of His profuse and perfect love in our imperfect condition. Perseverance grows our patience and elevates our prayer life. The more we feel dependent on the Lord—the more we depend on the Lord. A crisis is a God occasion to grow our capacity to love.
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10:36).
Perhaps you find yourself in a relational crisis. You are frustrated and emotionally fatigued. It is a spiritual stalemate because both of you love the Lord, but it’s hard to love one another. One idea is to humbly reflect on the “one another’s” outlined in God’s word. “Regard one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). “Live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16). “Accept one another” (Romans 15:7). “Serve one another in love” (Galatians 5:13). “Bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). A crisis is your opportunity to care for another.
Substitute the phrase “one another” with the person’s name and pray how you might apply these truths to your relationship. A crisis can draw us closer to Christ and to each other or it can drive us away. Humility is relational glue that keeps sin and suffering from pulling us apart. Thus, we stay faithful to follow Jesus and love one another, especially when we don’t trust them. We persevere in prayer and ask Christ grow us in His love for others. Our kindness in a crisis can be a catalyst for change. We can’t change others, but by God’s grace we can change ourselves.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Prayer: Heavenly Father, use the crisis I face to grow my faith and character more like Christ’s.
Related Readings: Philippians 1:20; Hebrews 6:15; James 1:3-4; 2 Peter 1:6; 1 John 3:3
Post/Tweet this today: We can’t change others, but by God’s grace we can change ourselves. #crisis #wisdomhunters
Additional Resource: 5 minute music video- All Sons and Daughters: Wake Up
© 2015 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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