What builds character like trials? Nothing. Truly they are God’s gσ†Š to us. This verse out of Romans 5 tells us that trouble teaches us endurance. The Greek word used for “endurance” is hypomonē, meaning “to stand still; stand fast; bear patiently. Suffering teaches us how to stand still and stand fast. Like water that wears down rock and erodes the land, we become steady, slowly eroding those things placed in our paths. We hold fast and maintain our course, knowing that nothing can take what God has given us.

Learning how to endure also adds character. The Greek word for “character” is dokimē, which means tested by battle, reliable, trustworthy. Each trial is a battle God allows us to fight, proving our mettle. I am convinced it is not God to whom we need to prove ourselves- each battle is an opportunity in which God allows us to prove what HE ALREADY KNOWS about us to ourselves. He knows how much you can stand: He knows the depth of your strength: He knows the depth of your courage: He knows the strength of your heart. YOU DON’T. Each battle shows you that you have the warrior Spirit of the God who created you in His image. It is a time when you get to discover just how strong you actually are.

Praise God for the battle! It’s where we find our confidence to more forward. The more we overcome, the more we look to the future with the knowledge that we are battle-tested and VICTORIOUS. The more hope we have that we will continue to be victorious no matter what the future holds. We can continue to be outrageously brave and unbelievably strong because God’s love triumphs in the end. Whether the thing we face next will be our end on this earth, WE STILL WIN! Beloved, your earthly ending is your freedom. It will be what God uses to bring you home, straight into His loving arms where the battles have all been fought, and no more testing happens, no more tears fall, no more pain hurts.

(Obviously, we must not cause our own death- please do not get me wrong in that. God’s will alone should be the cause of our heavenly homecoming.) No matter what the future holds, we are able to look straight into it with fierce hope and rejoicing! We tighten our spiritual armor, dig our pegged sandals into ground and hold fast in the love of Christ, marching ever onward to victory (Ephesians 6:14-15).

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