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“Building Blocks of Character”

Romans 5:4a

perseverance, character...

Thoughts for Today:

In our previous passage, Paul explained suffering produces perseverance. Today he explains: perseverance in turn leads toward developing "character" (in the Greek "dokime" which is more accurately translated as "experience"). So how does this work? For me, when I wait patiently before and upon the Lord, I experience His love for me in ways I could never have imagined. In other words, when I come to a position of complete trust and reliance on the Lord (sometimes because I have no other choice), that is when I finally realize how perfectly the Lord provides for me. As a result, through experience my character is built one block at a time, and it becomes far more natural for me to rely upon Him the next time.

When my daughter Amanda was three years old she was afraid to jump in the swimming pool. She asked: "But what if I sink and don't come up?" I told her: "Don't worry, I'll be right here, go ahead and jump in -- I'll catch you." Today, five years later, Amanda is a fish. (Her mother thinks she's grown gills and fins, because she's always in the water.) How did Amanda grow from fear to such complete enjoyment of the water? That's right -- by experience: one leap of faith at a time.

It works the same for us as well when by experience we learn to completely trust and rely upon the Lord. Life becomes so much more enjoyable.

Questions to Ponder:

Are you symbolically standing on the "edge of a pool" right now? What has made you fearful? The Lord asks you to trust Him, to place your confidence in His complete provision. Consider Jesus' words from Matthew 6:25-26: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

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About the author

Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.