Virtue and Character Development. Romans 5:3-5. February 23, 2012.
Hope is the end product of a series of choices and the upward momentum of spiritual growth. Making these choices isn’t always easy. But growth is the result of choices. Maturity and consequent happiness is a choice. We must make grown-up decisions in a world of less than positive circumstances. The spiritual life isn't effortless. Growth and maturity are often the result of facing difficult decisions. This runs contrary to the self-absorbed focus of our narcissistic culture which has rejected adult values for the immediate gratification of adolescent fantasies built on utopian dreams. In contrast, biblical hope or confidence in our certain future provides strength for facing present trials. A tough mental attitude in facing trials isn’t developed through the exercise of “no pain, no gain” mantras, but is based on understanding reality as God defines it. We face life in light of God's promises with a focus on the One who made the promise. Giving up on God’s promise of hope and endurance in order to cave into pressure may result in repeated worldly perversion that declines to a point of no return, the loss of eternal, spiritual rewards and the loss of all the blessings God has made available now and in eternity. For the believer, Grace is never diminished and salvation never lost, but a measure of rewards in time and in eternity may be surrendered permanently. So how do we develop the mental attitude strength to face today's challenges in light of eternity's promise?
Loading more stuff…
Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?