God Uses Pressure to Produce Godliness
Day 2 | God Uses Pressure to Produce Godliness
"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." Romans 5:3-4, ESV
Diamonds. Ever wonder where they come from? Apparently, diamonds are nothing more than a clump of carbon coal that refused to give in to pressure.
They were supposedly first reported to be found in India, in 9th century BC, today they are everywhere. People have them on their fingers, on their ears, around their necks, studs in their nose, and some even have them etched into their teeth and call it their grill!
The other day, my little girl and I were walking through Walmart parking lot, and she saw a license plate that said something like "bling" on it around the license plate, sure enough, they were diamonds bordered all around the license plate. My daughter said, "Wow, Dad, they must be rich!" Yup, they must be, that's why they shop at Walmart!
Do you ever wonder what makes a diamond so amazing? They are the hardest known mineral in the world. They only form under intense amounts of pressure. It's a combination of intense heat and pressure that causes the carbon to crystalize, and over thousands of years, they transform from a clump of coal into this intriguingly beautiful stone that's costs most men their left arm! Which is funny, because after just a quick google search on the idiom, Mistakenly, I found the google search a literal interpretation to the "cost of a left arm" and I discovered that in most states a left-arm would cost, $48,000 but in Alabama, it costs $198,000. I guess Alabama has a bunch of one arm guys running around, and left arms are in short supply? The point is that diamonds are expensive.
In the Christian life, we would do well to think about diamonds when it comes to our faith. God uses pressure to produce godliness. So many times, we get upset, not realizing that God is doing something great in us and through when we under hardships.
Romans 5:3-4 tells us we can rejoice in knowing that God will do something in us that brings eternal value into our lives. The pressures of life, the problems, and the hardships that add up all can be used by God to produce godly qualities in our life.
First, we develop character. The character of men and women determine their witness and the quality of the world they live in. Character takes a lifetime to build but can be broken in a night. Character is something that often is formed the strongest when one goes through a trial, a temptation, and has something to share with others about. Men and women of character have been challenged. They have learned patience, they have learned suffering, and relying on God's spirit, and as a result, they have the grit to their soul, which makes them tough, yet tender towards the Lord.
Secondly, the Bible says that God will produce in us endurance. Endurance is something that enables you to go the distance. It's an ability that allows you to roll with the punches and yet stay focused on the finish line. When the apostle Paul said, I have fought the fight, run the race, he could say that because he had endurance. You need endurance in your marriage, your parenting, your work, and your faith. God never promised it would be easy but said that he would be there to help you. He doesn't call us to escape the world's challenges; rather, most of the time, he calls us to endure them, knowing that we will have to depend on him more.
Lastly, the Apostle Paul says that we will develop hope. Hope is what keeps you afloat in your faith. Hope is what gets believers through the hard times. Studies have been done on those who were captured in war. The victims were often tortured physically and mentally. One of the most common tactics was to weaken the prisoners' emotional and mental well being, by lying, tricking, and deceiving the prisoner to lose all hope. Sound familiar? As Christians, we face a real enemy that wants to drain our souls of all hope and happiness. Yet, God's spirit, our ally want's to fill our hearts with hope. (Romans 5:5)