Character and the Believer

People often imagine that God is manipulating circumstances in their life to mature, or direct them. God doesn’t use circumstances to create character in the life of believers – He uses the life of His Son in the believer to accomplish this (see Galatians 2:20; Romans 5:1-5; Romans 8:6-11).

Notice in Romans 5 it says “tribulation worketh patience.” It doesn’t necessarily follow that tribulation “produces” patience. Circumstances serve as the catalyst to provoke the character inherent in each of us because of our new identity in Christ, and by His life in us. Patience is an attribute of the believer who is standing in the provision and power of grace and there is no circumstance, however trying, that could produce this element of character.

It could be said, by way of illustration, that circumstantial difficulties are the canvas upon which the glorious palette of grace can be painted. God doesn’t extract the believer from hard times; He has equipped him to conquer them.

(Rom 8:35-37) “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? {36} As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. {37} Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

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