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Christian Character

By Church of God Evangelistic Association
March 29, 2014

All around us there are people hurting from physical and emotional pain! Our neighbors, family members and even brothers and sisters in the body of Christ, are suffering and in need of healing at some level of the human experience. Have you ever been so discouraged or disappointed by something or someone that you could not shake the depressed, angry and bitter feelings that at times seemed to overwhelm you! As I look back over my life there have been many situations like this that I’ve had to battle and overcome through the power of God’s Holy Spirit working in me. God has very patiently and faithfully proven to me that no matter what obstacle I face “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13 You can overcome anything through Jesus Christ!

God measures our character and Christian maturity by how long it takes us to gain victory over these wrongs that life throws against us. It is a certainty we will face obstacles. “Yea and all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” It is inevitable which is why Jesus told us that in this world we will suffer tribulation. These attacks come in the form of illness and pain, the death of loved ones, financial pressures, job frustrations, marriage problems, betrayal by friends, lies, gossip and slander directed at us personally or someone we love and depression, discouragement, and loneliness that at times can overwhelm our minds to such a degree that life seems too much to face and we feel like giving up.

Our joy is gone, and the peace Jesus came to give us never seems to stay for very long. Where is the victory in our Christian life promised in I Corinthians 15:57? The true measure of our Christian character is how long it takes us to overcome our hurts and disappointments in life! Can we really forgive those who have wronged us? Or, do we hang on to our grudges and bitterness for months and years, pretending we have forgiven, but in reality we just put on a show and hide it? Sometimes it is God who we are angry at and we won’t let go. We’re like a dog with a bone and we won’t give our hurt up.

On a day-to-day basis there are many personal problems and difficulties that we can lay before our Heavenly Father. We can come to Him for rest and to cast our cares upon Him, because He cares for us. He will empower us to overcome and to be victorious no matter how depressed and discouraged the circumstances of life have made us feel. Each morning we can start anew with a clean slate. Paul said it best when he said in Philippians 3:13-14, “Forgetting the past, we must reach forth and press on to the future, the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!” Make sure that this is your practice each and every day of your life, this habit of meeting with and waiting upon the Lord through personal prayer and meditation upon the Scriptures. Seek His direction in relation to your schedule, your priorities, your relationships, your work, and your physical and spiritual needs.

When you pray, try to listen to the Father’s voice and be sensitive to how He may be directing your mind in relation to His will for any situation you are facing. Ask the Father in Heaven to guard your heart and to make and keep it pure. Ask Him to help you to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and to make you compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others around you. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit, to clothe you with humility, to make you a servant. Pray each day for wisdom and discernment. The wisdom from above that as James 3:17 tells us is pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and favoritism, and without hypocrisy! Beseech your Heavenly Father as King David did in Psalm 141:3; “Set a watch O Lord, before my mouth, keep the door of my lips.” Pray – help me Father to speak only words that are true, words that help and heal and words that are wise, kind and gentle.

II Corinthians 4:8-10 “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

All around the world there are dramatic signs of Bible prophecy coming to pass. Evil presses in on all sides as the days grow worse and worse just as Jesus told us in Matthew 24. True believers in Christ everywhere need to be watching and preparing their lives for the return of Jesus Christ, so when that glorious event does come, it will not catch us sleeping on our watch, with a lukewarm spirit of complacency.

The need of the hour is men and women who are on fire in their spiritual lives, whose hearts burn with a desire to pray fervently and always! The need of the hour is for every believer to humble themselves in prayer and diligently seek the face of God and turn from any habits of sin. We need in these last days to call unto God in sincerity and truth with faith, believing His promise to answer our prayers and show us great and mighty things far beyond our imaginations. (Jeremiah 33:3)

Brethren it is very easy to fall into the trap of complacency when it comes to our prayer lives. We take this precious privilege for granted and relegate it to a secondary or in some cases a non-existent practice in our lives. Our goal every day should be to guard our hearts with all diligence, so that we never allow that complacency to take place in our lives! Instead we should be pressing on each day to greater and greater spiritual victories in the spiritual war that rages all around us. This can happen for every believer who will make today the starting point in developing new prayer habits, and will determine to spend more time than ever before in that Secret Quiet Place of Prayer Fellowship with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

Develop a prayer Warrior’s attitude! God is not as interested in our circumstances as He is in our attitude. When our attitude is right, our prayers become consistent with His will and ultimately benefit us, often in ways far greater than we could have planned or imagined.

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might obey.
I asked for health, that I might do great things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I got nothing that I asked for
But everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men, most richly blessed.

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